Extract: TECHNOFOSSILS AND RADIONUCLIDES. Welcome to the Anthropocene.


The following extract is from my article published in Earthlines, Issue 15. July 2016.

“The most sinister and compelling evidence to mark the start of the Anthropocene coincides with the commencement of nuclear weapons testing and the detonation of the Trinity atomic device at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on 16 July 1945.

Fallout radionuclides from 1945 to 1951 came from fission devices, and resulted only in locally traceable signatures. But the fallout from the more advanced thermonuclear weapon tests that began in 1952, peaking around 1961-1962, left markers that are traceable globally, with the highest densities in the northern hemisphere, where most of the tests were carried out.

We appear to have provoked a new stratigraphic age by some primordial instinct for violence and territorial dominance. No matter how much we might be repulsed by this concept, the signatures are already there, in the sediments.”


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