Time for the Meghalayan: A new geological age has officially been declared

Geologists have defined a new phase in Earth's history - and we are part of it.

After the end of last Ice Age.

The lower boundary of the Greenlandian and Northgripppian stages are defined at specific levels in Greenland ice cores.

The International Commission on Stratigraphy additionally endorsed two different ages, the Middle Holocene Northgrippian Age and the Early Holocene Greenlandian Age, which started around 8,300, respectively 11,700 years prior.

Scientists have created a new phase in Earth's geological history and named it Meghalayan - after a stalagmite from a cave in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya that facilitated scientists to define climatic events some 4,200 years ago - a phase that began at that point of time and continuing still today.

The third and last phase of the Holocene, now known as the Meghalayan Age, propelled the planet into another warming stage, and actually started out with a global drought that lasted for two centuries.

"The commission then forwarded these proposals to its parent body, the IUGS, for consideration, and the executive committee of IUGS voted unanimously to ratify them", the International Union of Geological Sciences said.

It should be said, however, there is disquiet in the scientific community at the way the change has been introduced.

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Comparatively, Jonathan Amos reports for BBC News, the Meghalayan Age's "timestamp" is an isotopic shift found in a single stalagmite growing from the floor of the Mawmluh Cave in Meghalaya, India.

The drought resulted in the collapse of civilisations and human migrations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yangtze River Valley.

According to Prof. Mike Walker of the University of Wales in the United Kingdom, the shift in oxygen isotopes indicates that monsoon rainfall decreased by 20 to 30 percent. The proposals were developed by a dedicated, global team of Holocene scientists led by Mike Walker of the University of Wales. Dubbed the "4.2 kiloyear climatic event", this time period has rocked cultures and is evidenced in sediments on all seven continents.

"This decision is a significant moment in the history of Holocene climate and archaeology science", said Yale University Professor Harvey Weiss.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, the Anthropocene is meant to describe the human impact on the planet's geological record, marking the beginning of anthropogenic climate change. Agriculture-based societies, which developed in several regions after the end of the last Ice Age, were impacted severely by the 200-year climatic event.

Expressing his disappointment with the new ICS stages, he told the BBC: "We have lots of new definitions that perhaps now contradict the Anthropocene Working Group and go against what most scientists perceive to be the most important change on Earth in the last 10,000 years".

Some scientists contend we are already in a new epoch called the Anthropocene.

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