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Age of Anthropocene: The Earth has entered a new geological epoch “defined by human impact,” an expert group of scientists said in a presentation to the International Geological Congress. The group proposed that the Anthropocene epoch began sometime in the 1950s, as evidenced by unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide, plastic pollution, nuclear tests and widespread deforestation. The recommendation needs more specific geologic data to be submitted to “stratigraphic authorities” for official approval. (News: Guardian, Washington Post $, Independent, Phys.org, TIME, Scientific American$, Fusion, BBC, Huffington Post. Commentary: Guardian, Martin Rees op-ed)
Anti-Fracking Measures Fail to Reach CO Ballot: Two proposed measures aimed at restricting fracking in fossil-fuel-rich Colorado failed to make it to the ballot. State officials said that support for the two initiatives, which were heavily opposed by the energy industry, fell short of the nearly 98,500 signatures required. The measures were quietly divisive among environmental groups, as many expected the fossil fuel lobby to spend even more money to influence Colorado’s voters had the measures been on the ballot. (Wall Street Journal $, Think Progress, CNBC, CBS Local, Politico Pro $, InsideClimate News, Greenwire $, Reuters)
Biodiversity Helps in Adaptation: More diverse forests in the Amazon could better adapt to climate change and ensure that the world’s largest rainforest remains an important carbon sink, according to a new study. Using models, researchers found that as some trees died off due to factors such as heat or water stress, others that were more resilient took their place. Adaptation, however, would only be successful up to a certain level of increased temperatures and even in the best case scenario would not lead to full recovery of the forests. (Washington Post $)