After the Anthropocene

The current geological age in our Earth’s history is sometimes called the “Anthropocene”. This is because human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Of course our entire existence as a species is just a tiny blip in the lifetime of our planet. The earliest record of anatomically modern humans is only from about 190,000 years ago — a very small span of time indeed in geological terms.

So it wouldn’t be all that surprising if our species were to go extinct in another few hundred thousand years. After all, we don’t seem to be very good at keeping the state of the Earth’s climate or environment conducive to our own existence.

So let’s skip forward a few hundred thousand years. What is likely to be the next dominant species — the one that ends up having the greatest influence on the Earth’s climate and environment?

Personally I’m rooting for bonobos. Not because I really think the next geological age is likely to be the Bonobocene, but mostly because I like bonobos.

Given any particular species, you might find it fun to imagine what our planet would be like should that species rise to global dominance. I’m open to suggestions.

2 Responses to “After the Anthropocene”

  1. Andy says:

    IIRC, Sim-Earth had a mode where cetaceans became sentient and dominant– the Cetaceacen, I suppose. Call me fingerist, but it’s hard to imagine a species without digits doing much with their intelligence. Maybe the cephalapods then?

  2. Andy says:

    IIRC, Sim-Earth had a mode where cetaceans became sentient and dominant– the Cetaceacene, I suppose. Call me fingerist, but it’s hard to imagine a species without digits doing much with their intelligence. Maybe the cephalopods then?

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