Human activities are reshaping our planet in profound ways. We have fundamentally altered the physical, chemical and biological systems of the planet on which we and all other organisms depend.
The changes that have occurred in the last 50 to 200 years have led scientists to propose a new geologic epoch, called the Anthropocene.
In the past 60 years in particular, these human impacts have unfolded at an unprecedented rate and scale. This period is sometimes known as the Great Acceleration. Carbon dioxide emissions, global warming, ocean acidification, habitat destruction, extinction and widescale natural resource extraction are all signs that we have significantly modified our planet.
It is clear that our climate is no longer stable and is beginning to warm rapidly. Scientists now agree that human activity, rather than any natural progress, is the primary cause of the accelerated global warming. Agriculture, urbanisation, deforestation and pollution have caused extraordinary changes on Earth.