International media report on the discovery of 208 new anthropogenic minerals
News outlets worldwide reported on research that identifies a group of new minerals that formed either principally or exclusively through human activities. Edward Grew, a research professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences collaborated on the research team led by Robert Hazen of the Carnegie Institution for Science. The results underscore humans’ impact on Earth and bolster the argument for a formal recognition of the Anthropocene Epoch.
The paper, published by the journal American Mineralogist, catalogs 208 new minerals attributed to human activity, many of which were created inadvertently through mining. “Mining disturbs the environment under or at the Earth’s surface and that disturbance makes for environments where new minerals can form,” Grew told Cosmos Magazine. The researchers suggest that the rapid increase in mineral diversity attributed to human activity rivals the greatest geological processes. “The minerals will mark our age as different from all that came before,” Grew told Business Insider.