As an addition the earlier post about the Anthropocene, here is a visualization of the referenced data.
Anthropologist Félix Pharand is mapping the effect of humans on planet Earth. His latest video—which shows cities, transmission lines, pipelines, roads and railways with amazing detail—is simply spectacular. Play it at full screen.
Along with other scientists, Pharand is working on documenting the effects of an epoch that doesn’t exist yet: the Anthropocene. It’s a term commonly used in scientific literature, but the public knows very little about it. The name is made from two words from Ancient Greek: anthropos—human being—and kainos—new, current.
The reason for this new epoch is what you are seeing in this video: humans are changing Earth through all kinds of engineering, transforming its surface, creating new structures that can be seen from orbit—even if only barely right now. As we progress—and if we survive—our planet will change even more and, in a few thousand years, the changes will be clearly visible from afar.
As an interesting aside, the claim that you can see the Great Wall of China from space is a myth. From any significant orbit around the Earth, you would see nothing.
The Anthropocene is therefore the Era of Humans, which will follow the Holocene if it becomes an official part of the geologic time scale next August, when the 34th congress of the International Union of Geological Sciences meets in Brisbane, Australia.
We are now a force of nature.