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Rull, V. (2016), The humanized Earth system (HES), The Holocene, doi: 10.1177/0959683616640053.


A number of informal terms (e.g. Anthropocene, Anthropozoic, Psychozoic, Noozoic, and Technogene) have been used to designate the rock unit and time interval where the impact of collective human action on the Earth system is clearly recognizable (called here the Humanized Earth System (HES)). Presently, Anthropocene is the most commonly used, and the International Commission on Stratigraphy is considering its acceptance as a formal stratigraphic unit. Despite their informal character, all of these terms contain suffixes (i.e. -cene, -zoic, or -gene) that define formal chronostratigraphic/geochronologic (C/G) units (e.g. series/epoch, erathem/era, and system/period), which is misleading. In addition, the use of these terms involves unsupported evolutionary assumptions and may lead to conflicting stratigraphic settings. Therefore, it is recommended that these terms are avoided until there is sufficient scientific support to unequivocally define its C/G rank, which is not expected to occur in the near future.


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