'Meghalayan Age' is defined as the new phase in Earth's history

James Marshall
July 21, 2018

The mega-drought, which spanned for 200 years, was likely the result of shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

The Holocene Epoch is further divided into three ages and one of them is the Meghalayan Age, which is also known as "upper Holocene". Earth is now situated in the Phanerozoic Eon, Cenozoic Era, Quaternary Period, Holocene Epoch and Meghalayan Age.

The commission has released International Chronostratigraphic Chart to show all the divisions in the Earth's 4.6 billion-year history.

The proposal for the Meghalayan age was floated around six years back, after distinct chemical signals were detected for the transition to a new age in the stalagmites rising from the floor of the Mawmluh cave near Cherrapunji in the northeastern Indian state.

The Earth is now in a new geological age. "They were subsequently approved by the International Subcommission of Quaternary Stratigraphy and the International Commission on Stratigraphy before being forwarded to IUGS for ratification".

"This is the Geological Time Scale which gives us an idea about the age of the Earth among other things".

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

The older two units of the Holocene were determined at their lower boundary by the specific levels found among ice cores in Greenland. This revealed that the planet experienced yet another massive change in its climate about 4,200 years ago, particularly at mid and low altitudes. The proposals were developed by a dedicated, worldwide team of Holocene scientists led by Mike Walker of the University of Wales.

Evidence has been collected from multiple sites all over the world, but the specific starting point of this most recent age is based on differences in oxygen isotopes in a stalagmite taken from a cave in northeast India. It began with a destructive drought, whose effects lasted two centuries, and severely disrupted civilisations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley.

"After the original paper and going through various committees, they've suddenly announced [the Meghalayan] and stuck it on the diagram", said Mark Maslin, a professor of geography at University College London, according to the BBC. "Beautiful, I know!" someone commented, but we recommend that you follow the entire thread on Twitter.

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".

The Meghalayan is unique because it is the first interval in Earth's geological history that has coincided with a major cultural event, as agricultural societies struggled to recover from the shift in climate.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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