El Antropoceno: un nuevo tiempo, una nueva visión

ESTOCOLMO – Inspire profundo. Dedique unos segundos a paladear el aire. Ahora piense esto: en toda la historia del ser humano moderno, ninguno de nuestros antepasados respiró nada parecido. Y como van las cosas, el aire que respirarán nuestros descendientes tampoco será igual.

Desde el comienzo de la Revolución Industrial, la composición de la atmósfera ha variado considerablemente por obra de la actividad humana. Los niveles de dióxido de carbono están en el valor más alto de los últimos 800.000 años por lo menos. La cantidad de nitrógeno y azufre que circula por el sistema de la Tierra se duplicó. El pH del océano está cambiando a una velocidad nunca antes vista; el agua alcanza niveles de acidez que ningún organismo marino experimentó en los últimos veinte millones de años.

No hay duda: los seres humanos (que ya ocupamos casi el 40% de la superficie terrestre no congelada) estamos configurando muchos de los procesos fundamentales del planeta. Para el Premio Nobel Paul Crutzen, este cambio es tan profundo que equivale al inicio de una nueva época geológica: el Antropoceno.

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