Female scientist Gaia Vince presents ‘The Age We Made’ on BBC World Service – Discovery
The Age We Made
Duration: 18 minutes
First broadcast: Monday 22 October 2012, 7.30pm
“The hand of humanity on the surface of the continent is geological in its sheer scale and its imprint will remain for millions of years. Through mining and quarrying, we shift billions more tonnes rock and sediment annually than all of the planet’s great rivers and glaciers combined. We are creating new strata in ways mother Nature never intended. By turning 40% of the land from wild habitat to food production and then discovering how to turn the atmosphere’s nitrogen into synthetic fertiliser, we’ve become the biggest thing to happen to the whole planet’s nitrogen cycle in 2 billion years. That’s not only causing immediate and serious environmental problems such as dead zones in coastal areas and the acceleration of climate change, our dirty and nitrogenous activities will be preserved in the rocks of the future geological record for posterity. Our sedimentary and geochemical signals are exactly the kind geologists use to mark where one period of Earth history ends and another begins.”
Presented by Gaia Vince.