Anthony D Barnosky

Anthony D Barnosky
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Department of Integrative Biology

Ph.D., University of Washington, Geology

About

145
Publications
230,342
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21,061
Citations
Citations since 2017
27 Research Items
14531 Citations
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
Additional affiliations
January 1990 - December 2013
University of California, Berkeley

Publications

Publications (145)
Article
Cores from Searsville Lake within Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, California, USA, are examined to identify a potential GSSP for the Anthropocene: core JRBP2018-VC01B (944.5 cm-long) and tightly correlated JRBP2018-VC01A (852.5 cm-long). Spanning from 1900 CE ± 3 years to 2018 CE, a secure chronology resolved to the sub-annu...
Article
Full-text available
Event stratigraphy is used to help characterise the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic concept, based on analogous deep-time events, for which we provide a novel categorization. Events in stratigraphy are distinct from extensive, time-transgressive ‘episodes’ – such as the global, highly diachronous record of anthropogenic change, termed here an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Event stratigraphy is used to help characterise the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic concept, based on analogous deep-time events, for which we provide a novel categorization. Events in stratigraphy are distinct from extensive, time-transgressive ‘episodes’ – such as the global, highly diachronous record of anthropogenic change, termed here an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Event stratigraphy is used to help characterise the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic concept, based on analogous deep-time events, for which we provide a novel categorization. Events in stratigraphy are distinct from extensive, time-transgressive ‘episodes’ – such as the global, highly diachronous record of anthropogenic change, termed here an...
Article
Full-text available
We examine three distinctive biostratigraphic signatures of humans associated with hunting and gathering , landscape domestication and globalization. All three signatures have significant fossil records of regional importance that can be correlated interregionally and help describe the developing pattern of human expansion and appropriation of reso...
Article
Full-text available
The extensive array of mid-20 th century stratigraphic event signals associated with the 'Great Acceleration' enables precise and unambiguous recognition of the Anthropocene as an epoch/series within the Geological Time Scale. A mid-20 th century inception is consistent with Earth System science analysis in which the Anthropocene term and concept a...
Article
Full-text available
The Anthropocene defined as an epoch/series within the Geological Time Scale, and with an isochronous inception in the mid-20th century, would both utilize the rich array of stratigraphic signals associated with the Great Acceleration and align with Earth System science analysis from where the term Anthropocene originated. It would be stratigraphic...
Chapter
Full-text available
Extinction, coupled with many other biological signals, is a major geological indicator of the Anthropocene. The introduction of non-native species, deforestation, depletion of fisheries and modification of coastal environments, domestication of animals, and the reconfiguration of terrestrial ecosystems are all evident in the geological record and...
Article
Full-text available
The Anthropocene was conceptualized in 2000 to reflect the extensive impact of human activities on our planet, and subsequent detailed analyses have revealed a sub- stantial Earth System response to these impacts begin- ning in the mid-20th century. Key to this understanding was the discovery of a sharp upturn in a multitude of global socio-economi...
Article
Full-text available
The term Anthropocene initially emerged from the Earth System science community in the early 2000s, denoting a concept that the Holocene Epoch has terminated as a consequence of human activities. First associated with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, it was then more closely linked with the Great Acceleration in industrialization and globali...
Chapter
Stratigraphy provides insights into the evolution and dynamics of the Earth System over its long history. With recent developments in Earth System science, changes in Earth System dynamics can now be observed directly and projected into the near future. An integration of the two approaches provides powerful insights into the nature and significance...
Article
Full-text available
We analyse the ‘three flaws’ to potentially defining a formal Anthropocene geological time unit as advanced by Ruddiman (2018). (1) We recognize a long record of pre-industrial human impacts, but note that these increased in relative magnitude slowly and were strongly time-transgressive by comparison with the extraordinarily rapid, novel and near-g...
Article
We analyse the ‘three flaws’ to potentially defining a formal Anthropocene geological time unit as advanced by Ruddiman (2018). (1) We recognize a long record of pre-industrial human impacts, but note that these increased in relative magnitude slowly and were strongly time-transgressive by comparison with the extraordinarily rapid, novel and near-g...
Book
Full-text available
The Anthropocene, a term launched into public debate by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen, has been used informally to describe the time period during which human actions have had a drastic effect on the Earth and its ecosystems. This book presents evidence for defining the Anthropocene as a geological epoch, written by the high-profile international...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most species on planet Earth have specific ecological ranges defined by factors such as latitudinal changes in surface temperature and rainfall, or geographical isolation. These patterns have evolved over millions, sometimes tens of millions of years. This natural pattern is being overprinted by the actions of Homo sapiens, which has made the whole...
Article
Full-text available
Most species on planet Earth have specific ecological ranges. In the near surface of the oceans, planktonic foraminifera define water masses that are warm in the tropics, and cold in polar regions. Tropical rainforests have trees and animals that are distinct from those in warm temperate or cold temperate zones. The fauna and flora of Australia are...
Article
Full-text available
We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a "Hothouse Earth" pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher...
Article
The Anthropocene as a potential new unit of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart (which serves as the basis of the Geological Time Scale) is assessed in terms of the stratigraphic markers and approximate boundary levels available to define the base of the unit. The task of assessing and selecting potential Global Boundary Stratotype Section...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Anthropocene, as a potential new unit of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart, is assessed in terms of stratigraphic markers and approximate boundary levels available to define the unit base. The task of assessing and selecting potential GSSP candidate sections, a requirement in seeking formalisation of the term, is being actively pursue...
Data
This is the link to the press release from University of Leicester for the new AWG paper authored by the above members of the working group: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2017/march/the-anthropocene-scientists-respond-to-criticisms-of-a-new-geological-epoch
Article
Full-text available
A range of published arguments against formalizing the Anthropocene as a geological time unit have variously suggested that it is a misleading term of non-stratigraphic origin and usage, is based on insignificant temporal and material stratigraphic content unlike that used to define older geological time units, is focused on observation of human hi...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: The pace and magnitude of human-caused global change has accelerated dramatically over the past 50 years, overwhelming the capacity of many ecosystems and species to maintain themselves as they have under the more stable conditions that prevailed for at least 11,000 years. The next few decades threaten even more rapid transformations be...
Article
Full-text available
The key message of this chapter is that solving the climate problem will require motivating social and behavioral changes through effective communication. More and better communication about climate issues is needed so people will mobilize solutions. Currently most people in the world do not believe that climate change is worth doing anything about...
Article
Full-text available
We assess the scale and extent of the physical technosphere, defined here as the summed material output of the contemporary human enterprise. It includes active urban, agricultural and marine components, used to sustain energy and material flow for current human life, and a growing residue layer, currently only in small part recycled back into the...
Article
Full-text available
Stratigraphy provides insights into the evolution and dynamics of the Earth System over its long history. With recent developments in Earth System science, changes in Earth System dynamics can now be observed directly and projected into the near future. An integration of the two approaches provides powerful insights into the nature and significance...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract We maintain that humanity’s grand challenge is solving the intertwined problems of human population growth and overconsumption, climate change, pollution, ecosystem destruction, disease spillovers, and extinction, in order to avoid environmental tipping points that would make human life more difficult and would irrevocably damage planetary...
Article
Full-text available
Biospheric relationships between production and consumption of biomass have been resilient to changes in the Earth system over billions of years. This relationship has increased in its complexity, from localised ecosystems predicated on anaerobic microbial production and consumption, to a global biosphere founded on primary production from oxygenic...
Article
The rise of plastics since the mid-20th century, both as a material element of modern life and as a growing environmental pollutant, has been widely described. Their distribution in both the terrestrial and marine realms suggests that they are a key geological indicator of the Anthropocene, as a distinctive stratal component. Most immediately evide...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth. Vigorous debate continues about whether this warrants recognition as a new geologic time unit known as the Anthropocene. We review anthropogenic markers of functional changes in the Earth system through the stratigraphic record. The appearance of manufactured materials in sedi...
Article
Full-text available
A simple quantitative approach is presented for determining the relative importance of climate change and human impact in driving late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions. This method is designed to determine whether climate change or human impact alone can account for these extinctions, or whether both were important, acting independently (additivel...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Removing megafauna from contemporary ecosystems changes vegetation and small mammal communities over ecological time scales. We show that similar dynamics seem to operate over millennial time scales but only if the megafaunal loss includes ecosystem engineers in settings that also contain plant species susceptible to ecological release...
Article
Full-text available
A recently published analysis by Lewis and Maslin (Lewis SL and Maslin MA (2015) Defining the Anthropocene. Nature 519: 171–180) has identified two new potential horizons for the Holocene−Anthropocene boundary: 1610 (associated with European colonization of the Americas), or 1964 (the peak of the excess radiocarbon signal arising from atom bomb tes...
Article
Full-text available
The oft-repeated claim that Earth's biota is entering a sixth " mass extinction " depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the " background " rates prevailing in the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severit...
Article
Full-text available
The geological record preserves evidence for two fundamental stages in the evolution of Earth's biosphere, a microbial stage from ~3.5 to 0.65 Ga, and a metazoan stage evident by c. 650 Ma. We suggest that the modern biosphere differs significantly from these previous stages and shows early signs of a new, third stage of biosphere evolution charact...
Article
Full-text available
South America lost around 52 genera of mammals during a worldwide event known as the Late Quaternary Extinction episode. More than 80% of South American mammals weighing >44 kg succumbed. Analysis of the megafaunal extinction chronology in relation to human arrival and major climate changes have revealed slightly different extinction patterns in di...
Article
Full-text available
Many scientists are making the case that humanity is living in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, but there is no agreement yet as to when this epoch began. The start might be defined by a historical event, such as the beginning of the fossil-fueled Industrial Revolution or the first nuclear explosion in 1945. Standard stratigraphic practice...
Article
Full-text available
As members of the Anthropocene Working Group, we contend that the proposed new geological epoch should reflect a unique stratigraphic unit that is characterized by unambiguous, widespread and essentially permanent anthropogenic signatures in rock, glacial ice or marine sediments. We therefore find the two dates chosen by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin...
Article
This study argues that the climate changes resulting from the continued burning of fossil fuels at present rates will very likely initiate extinction of many terrestrial and marine species, beginning by mid-century. Under this scenario, interactions of climate change with other well-known extinction threats promise to trigger a loss of life that ha...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluate the boundary of the Anthropocene geological time interval as an epoch, since it is useful to have a consistent temporal definition for this increasingly used unit, whether the presently informal term is eventually formalized or not. Of the three main levels suggested e an ‘early Anthropocene’ level some thousands of years ago; the begin...
Article
Although scientists typically regard their work as finished with publication in an academic journal, in fact that is just the beginning if the goal is to help society solve problems. This is particularly true for the environmental sciences, in which a generation of scientists has documented that five interacting human impacts are causing undesirabl...
Article
Full-text available
The Anthropocene is recognized (though not yet formally defined) as the time when human impacts are widespread on Earth. While some of the impacts are essential to supporting large human populations and can be sustainable in the long run, others can irretrievably damage the life support systems upon which the global society has come to depend, or s...
Article
Full-text available
As humans have colonised and modified the Earth’s surface, they have developed progressively more sophisticated tools and technologies. These underpin a new kind of stratigraphy, that we term technostratigraphy, marked by the geologically accelerated evolution and diversification of technofossils – the preservable material remains of the technosphe...
Article
Despite the technological advances that characterize the Anthropocene, it will be necessary to address and solve some key environmental problems in order to mitigate societal risks and avoid undesirable impacts. Success will require more effective interactions between scientists, policy makers, the business community, technological innovators, thou...
Article
Previous work has suggested that tectonically active regions act as speciation pumps for mammals and plant species, but little is known about how fast or widespread tectonism must be in order to directly influence evolution. Here, we use oxygen and hydrogen isotopic data from Miocene sedimentary deposits to characterize the topographic evolution of...
Article
Full-text available
A landmark statement released last week, formulated from a review published in Nature last year, illustrates how effectively and rapidly bridges can be built between science and society.
Article
Full-text available
Earth is rapidly approaching a tipping point. Human impacts are causing alarming levels of harm to our planet. As scientists who study the interaction of people with the rest of the biosphere using a wide range of approaches, we agree that the evidence that humans are damaging their ecological life-support systems is overwhelming. We further agree...
Article
Full-text available
The chasm between science and society is wide and deep, illustrated most recently by events in climate science1 and calls for increasingly politicized management of NSF-funding2. Scientists tend to blame it on society, but scientists also share the blame2. It is thus essential that the scientific community—and scientists as individuals—begin to re-...
Article
Palaeontology formed the basis for defining most of the geological eras, periods, epochs and ages that are commonly recognized. By the same token, the Anthropocene can be defined by diverse palaeontological criteria, in accordance with commonly accepted biostratigraphic practice. The most useful Anthropocene biostratigraphic zones will be assemblag...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities now play a major, integral and ever-increasing role in the functioning of the Earth System. This fact lies at the heart of the notion of the Anthropocene. Documenting, understanding and responding to the present and future challenges posed by the recent, dramatic changes in the relationship between humans and their environment thus...
Article
Full-text available
Data, whether images, measurements, counts, occurrences, or character codings, are a cornerstone of vertebrate paleontology. Every published paper,master’s thesis, and doctoral dissertation relies on these data to document patterns and processes in evolution, ecology, taphonomy, geography, geologic time, and functional morphology, to name just a fe...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods By defining paleospecies-area relationships (PSAR), previous work has shown that the preanthropogenic (>11,000 years ago) diversity baseline for mammals was substantially higher than for the period when pre-industrial humans were common in the western U.S. (~11,000 to 500 years ago). It is unclear, however, how the pal...
Article
Full-text available
Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Here we review evidence that the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence. The plausibility of a pla...
Article
Full-text available
Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Here we review evidence that the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence. The plausibility of a pla...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from two palaeontological databases, MIOMAP and FAUNMAP (now linked as NEOMAP), we explore how late Quaternary species loss compared in large and small mammals by determining palaeospecies-area relationships (PSARs) at 19 temporal intervals ranging from c. 30 million to 500 years ago in 10 different biogeographical provinces in the USA....
Article
Full-text available
Here we report on vertebrate fossil assemblages from two late Quaternary localities in the eastern San Francisco Bay region, Pacheco 1 and Pacheco 2. At least six species of extinct mammalian megaherbivores are known from Pacheco 1. The probable occurrence of Megalonyx jeffersonii suggests a late Pleistocene age for the assemblage. Pacheco 2 has yi...
Article
Full-text available
Palaeontologists characterize mass extinctions as times when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval, as has happened only five times in the past 540 million years or so. Biologists now suggest that a sixth mass extinction may be under way, given the known species losses over the past few centuries a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Millennia before the modern biodiversity crisis-a worldwide event being driven by the multiple impacts of anthropogenic global change-a mass extinction of large-bodied fauna occurred. After a million years of severe climatic fluctuations, during which the earth waxed and waned between frigid ice ages and warm interglacials, with apparently few exti...
Article
Full-text available
South America lost more genera in the Quaternary megafaunal extinction than any other continent, but how it fits into the worldwide extinction has been unclear largely due to the lack of chronological resolution. This work evaluated 138 published radiocarbon dates for megafauna and 402 published dates for early (>8000 BP) South American archaeologi...
Data
Number of Total Species for Each Temporal Bin by Biogeographic Province. (0.05 MB DOC)
Data
Number of Occurrences for Each Temporal Bin by Biogeographic Province. (0.06 MB DOC)
Data
Relationship between interval length and number of species recorded in each temporal bin by biogeographic province. Note that there is no correlation between interval length and number of species, either within biogeographic provinces or overall. Biogeographic province abbreviations follow those in Figure 1. (7.92 MB TIF)