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The Anthropocene– a 200 year record of human driven geological impacts: prelude to global climate changes and implications for South Asia

Author:

Ananda Gunatilaka

61/3, Flower Road, Colombo 07, LK
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Abstract

Human activities now rival natural geological processes in transforming the Earth's surface and initiating the current global warming phase and inevitable future climate change. The record of the past 200 years of this impact, which started off with the fossil fuel driven industrial revolution, is designated the Anthropocene. This article highlights how the change is occurring globally and also focuses on the possible effects on Sri Lanka and its people, especially with regard to water availability, soil degradation and nutrient depletion, food security, ecosystem disruption and the increasing intensity of natural hazards. A harmonious Earth system is conditional on achieving a stable population and sustainable use of resources. High population growth and poorly regulated exploitation of basic resources, which are essential for life, could result in civilizational overshoot and collapse as has happened in the past. Climate change is an undeniable reality and constitutes the most critical challenge to global society and its security. It is within the capability of modern science, technology and proven socio-economic policies to reverse the negative trends and achieve a sustainable world. This will require great political will and leadership by all nations.

Keywords: Anthropocene, climate change, human impacts, population, resources, sustainability.   

doi: 10.4038/jnsfsr.v37i1.452

J.Natn.Sci.Foundation Sri Lanka 2009 37(1): 3-11

How to Cite: Gunatilaka, A., 2009. The Anthropocene– a 200 year record of human driven geological impacts: prelude to global climate changes and implications for South Asia. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 37(1), pp.3–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v37i1.452
Published on 29 Mar 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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