Scientists discover new ‘Meghalayan age’ in Earth’s history, call it a new chapter

Image tweeted by @theIUGS
Image tweeted by @theIUGS

The last 4,200 years have been classified by the geologists as a distinct Earth age. They have termed it a new chapter called the ‘Meghalayan Age’. The scientists say a mega-drought that destroyed a number of civilisations worldwide marked the onset of ‘Meghalayan Age’.

They divide the 4.6-billion-years of existence of Earth into slices of time with each piece being corresponding to significant happenings such as the dramatic climate change, break-up of continents and even the emergence of particular types of animals and plant life.

We currently live in a age which is called the Holocene Epoch, reflecting all that has happened over the past 11,700 years since a warming pushed us out of the last ice age, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), the official keeper of geologic time, the Holocene Epoch itself can be subdivided.

ICS proposed three stages be introduced to denote the epoch”s upper, middle and lower phases. These all record the major climate events taking place.

The youngest stage is the Meghalayan that runs from 4,200 years ago to 1950. The Meghalayan age started with a destructive drought the effects of which lasted for two centuries and crushed civilisations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley, the BBC report added.

“The Meghalayan Age is unique among the many intervals of the geologic timescale. Its beginning coincides with a global cultural event produced by a global climatic event,” said Stanley Finney, Professor at Long Beach State University and Secretary-General of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which ratified the ICS proposal.

The oldest phase of the Holocene Epoch, the exit from the ice age, will be known as the Greenlandian.

The International Chronostratigraphic Chart, the famous diagram depicting the timeline for Earth”s history will be updated, the BBC reported.

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