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Confronting Climate Change and Other Ways We've Irreversibly Altered Earth

An aerial view of Crawford Lake as a team consisting of scientists from Carleton University and Brock University gather sediment layer samples from the lake bottom at the Crawford Lake Conservation Area near Milton, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2023. The view under the surface of Crawford Lake tells a different story. Scientists believe the lake’s exceptionally well-preserved sediment layers serve as a reference point for a proposed new geological chapter in the planet’s history, defined by the considerable changes wrought by human activity: the Anthropocene. The International Commission on Stratigraphy’s Anthropocene Working Group on July 11, 2023, named the lake as the embodiment of the proposed Anthropocene epoch. (Photo by Peter POWER / AFP) (Photo by PETER POWER/AFP via Getty Images)

PETER POWER/AFP via Getty Images

Confronting Climate Change and Other Ways We've Irreversibly Altered Earth

An aerial view of Crawford Lake as a team consisting of scientists from Carleton University and Brock University gather sediment layer samples from the lake bottom at the Crawford Lake Conservation Area near Milton, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2023. The view under the surface of Crawford Lake tells a different story. Scientists believe the lake’s exceptionally well-preserved sediment layers serve as a reference point for a proposed new geological chapter in the planet’s history, defined by the considerable changes wrought by human activity: the Anthropocene. The International Commission on Stratigraphy’s Anthropocene Working Group on July 11, 2023, named the lake as the embodiment of the proposed Anthropocene epoch. (Photo by Peter POWER / AFP) (Photo by PETER POWER/AFP via Getty Images)

PETER POWER/AFP via Getty Images

Confronting Climate Change and Other Ways We've Irreversibly Altered Earth

Extreme floods, storms and devastating heat waves have become the norm, so much so that we are facing up to how we must live with, and adapt to climate change. And as we confront the realities of a changing climate, a group of scientists says we're living in a world of our very own making - a world altered by the burning of fossil fuels, the explosion of nuclear weapons, plastic pollution and environmental degradation. The scientists call it the Anthropocene. And they have identified a geological site in Canada they say best reflects this new epoch in Earth's history. How do we come to terms with climate change and all the ways we have altered the earth's environment? We hear from NASA's Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor Kate Calvin. Also, NPR's Adrian Florido speaks with Francine McCarthy, a professor of Earth Sciences, who led a working group of scientists who identified Canada's Crawford Lake as the best example of a place that demonstrates humanity's impact on the planet. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

An aerial view of Crawford Lake as a team consisting of scientists from Carleton University and Brock University gather sediment layer samples from the lake bottom at the Crawford Lake Conservation Area near Milton, Ontario, Canada, April 12, 2023. The view under the surface of Crawford Lake tells a different story. Scientists believe the lake’s exceptionally well-preserved sediment layers serve as a reference point for a proposed new geological chapter in the planet’s history, defined by the considerable changes wrought by human activity: the Anthropocene. The International Commission on Stratigraphy’s Anthropocene Working Group on July 11, 2023, named the lake as the embodiment of the proposed Anthropocene epoch. (Photo by Peter POWER / AFP) (Photo by PETER POWER/AFP via Getty Images)

PETER POWER/AFP via Getty Images

 

Extreme floods, storms and devastating heat waves have become the norm, so much so that we are facing up to how we must live with, and adapt to climate change.

And as we confront the realities of a changing climate, a group of scientists says we're living in a world of our very own making - a world altered by the burning of fossil fuels, the explosion of nuclear weapons, plastic pollution and environmental degradation. The scientists call it the Anthropocene. And they have identified a geological site in Canada they say best reflects this new epoch in Earth's history.

How do we come to terms with climate change and all the ways we have altered the earth's environment?

We hear from NASA's Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor Kate Calvin. Also, NPR's Adrian Florido speaks with Francine McCarthy, a professor of Earth Sciences, who led a working group of scientists who identified Canada's Crawford Lake as the best example of a place that demonstrates humanity's impact on the planet.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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