What is the Anthropocene? A new geological era marked in the rock and sediment records of the earth? If so the start of the Anthropocene might be dated from 1945 when nuclear explosions left an indelible mark akin to past geological transitions. But is this the true beginning of the era of human domination implied by the word? William Ruddiman, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, argues “no” in Science magazine (link below). He and his colleagues note human transformation of the earth dates back thousands even tens of thousands of years.
Ph.D. Graduate student Heather Sullivan investigates the degradation of commonly used plastic polymers utilizing lab and field based experiments. Salinity appears to have an influence on the rate of oxidation and production of micro-plastics.