We are living in a new geological age
Geologists have redefined the present age that human civilization is living in, deciding to call the last 4,200 years the Meghalayan Age.
Meghalayan age – Highlights
Meghalayan, began 4,250 years ago when what was probably a planet wide drought struck Earth, according to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
The Meghalayan is just one of three newly named ages. The other two ages are the Greenlandian (11,700 years to 8,326 years ago) and the Northgrippian (8,326 years to 4,250 years ago)
Geologists have systematically divided up, and named, all of Earth’s roughly 4.54-billion-year history . From the longest to shortest, these lengths of time are known as eons, eras, periods and ages. Currently, we’re in the Phanerozoic eon, Cenozoic era, Quaternary period, Holocene epoch
The Greenlandian, the oldest age of the Holocene (also known as the “lower Holocene“), began 11,700 years ago, as the Earth left the last ice age.
The Northgrippian (also known as the “middle Holocene“) began 8,300 years ago, when Earth abruptly began cooling, likely because vast amounts of fresh water that came from Canada’s melting glaciers poured into the North Atlantic and disrupted ocean currents.
Meanwhile, the Meghalayan (also called the “upper Holocene”) started 4,250 years ago, when a mega-drought devastated civilizations across the world, including those in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yangtze River Valley. This drought lasted 200 years and was likely prompted by shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.
Geologists chose the name “Meghalayan” as a nod to a rock sample they analyzed from Meghalaya, a northeastern state in India, whose name means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit. By analyzing a stalagmite growing on the ground of Mawmluh Cave, geologists found that each of the stalagmite layers had different levels of oxygen isotopes, or versions of oxygen with different numbers of neutrons.