Nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and early 1960s left the first obvious and indelible marks of “overwhelming” human activity on Earth, and these events may signal the beginning of a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene, geologists say.
Fallout from these tests snowed down from the atmosphere and became trapped in the earth as layers of sediment rich in a radioactive form of plutonium, called plutonium-239.
Scientists argue that blankets of plutonium-239-rich sediment at the bottom of a small lake in Canada present the earliest tangible record of human activities shifting the balance of natural systems — which is why they’re naming this potential new epoch “anthro” after humans.
“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.