This epoch also includes the Greenlandian Age - the oldest phase of the Holocene - and the Northgrippian Age, which dates from 8,300 years ago up to the beginning of the Meghalayan. Meghalyan age has helped in the definition of the youngest unit of the Geologic Time Scale.
"This is the Geological Time Scale which gives us an idea about the age of the Earth among other things".
It's a subdivision of the Holocene era, one of three approved by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. Together, these three stages stretch across the Holocene Epoch, which is the "epoch" or "series" we've been living in for the past 11,700 years.
"Human impacts on the landscape. and on the environment didn't start at the same time everywhere on Earth", Gibbard tells Newsweek.
Based on the chart, we are now living in Holocene Epoch, which represents the time since the end of the last Ice Age about 11,700 years ago.
Scientists have created a new phase in Earth's geological history and named it Meghalayan - after a stalagmite from a cave in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya that facilitated scientists to define climatic events some 4,200 years ago - a phase that began at that point of time and continuing still today. The onset for this age was an abrupt cooling, attributed to vast volumes of freshwater from melting glaciers in Canada running into the North Atlantic and disrupting ocean currents.
There are about 100 different "ages" or "stages" that geologists use to mark significant shifts on our planet. The lower boundary of the Meghalayan Stage is defined at a specific level in a stalagmite from a cave in northeast India.
The layers of the stalagmite showed a change in the isotopes of oxygen atoms due to weakened monsoons. 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 team of a scientist is from an worldwide team of researchers.
Evidence of this period has been found on all seven continents, said the International Union of Geological Sciences, which ratified the proposal for the Meghalayan Age sent by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. Unfortunately, the first 200 years of this current age were marked by a devastating drought, which rocked established human civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yangtze River Valley.
Although the Meghalayan classification has already been made official, some scientists argue that it may have been premature to place it on the diagram, report the sources.
For instance, Mark Maslin, who is a professor of geography at University College London in the United Kingdom, believes that this latest division of the Holocene should have taken into account all the research that is now being done with the objective of defining another geological era in Earth's history, namely the Anthropocene.