It's official – you're living in a new age.
It's called Meghalayan and was officially added to the international geological time scale this week.
The scale divides the history of the earth into eons, epochs, epochs, and epochs as we divide smaller periods of time into years, months, hours, minutes, and seconds.
The update of the geological time of the scale adds three new epochs which divide the current Holocene epoch for the first time:
Greenland (Early Holocene) era, which began when a sudden warming ended the last ice age 11,700 years ago the Pleistocene epoch. 1
Meghalayan (Late Holocene) era that lasts from the beginning of a "mega-drought" 3200 years ago to today
The latest version of the Geological Timescale was published on July 13 by the International Union of Geological Sciences, which is responsible for setting international standards in geology. The scientific details will be published later this year in the scientific journal Episodes.
Unique Human Influence
The Meghalayan is unique because it coincides not only with a global climatic event, but also widespread upheavals among the human communities around the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia – the collapse of civilizations and Asia Human migrations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yangtze River Valley, reports the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which is responsible for standardization, the international geological time scale under the auspices of the Union of Geological Sciences
Mike Walker, who led the geologists' working group that proposed the new eras, said that not everyone agrees on the link between the mega-drought and human events, as there might be other reasons for the latter, such as socio-economic ones factors.
"But it is curious that about 4,200 years ago, just at the time when we identified a much drier phase … we find evidence of a social collapse that – and I could say – the through reflects aridification caused by this collapse, "said Walker, an emeritus professor of quaternary science at the University of Wales.
The Meghalayan was named after a stalagmite in a Mawmluh Cave in northeastern India called Meghalaya, which is considered the geological Standard, which marks the exact beginning of the age. The stalagmite was gradually deposited over thousands of years from layers of minerals as rainwater dripped through the roof of the cave. The layers contain chemical signatures that show how precipitation levels have changed over time.
They show that it suddenly became much drier about 4,200 years ago.
"It's almost as if the monsoon suddenly becomes much less effective at rainfall delivery," Walker said.
The signature of this "mega-drought" can be observed in many other parts of the world, even though the climate has led to more precipitation than dryness in some places. For example, Walker in western Canada said that a rise in snow was reforming and reviving glaciers.
Similarly, Greenlandic and North-Grippe age is named after the location of North Influenza in Greenland, where ice cores were drilled showing a sudden warming, the end of the last ice age, and a sudden global warming Cooling about 8,300 years ago, caused by an influx of icy meltwater from continental ice floes in the North Atlantic
Martin Head, a geologist at Brock University in St. Catharine's, Ont. and the chairman of the subcommittee, which overseen the Walker working group, said that the geological time scale consists primarily of communication about the timing of events used by a wide range of scientists ranging from geologists to archaeologists. They had informally shared the Holocene in the early, middle, and late years since the 1970s, but that caused confusion.
"The early Holocene of a person could be somebody's middle holocene," he said.
It was a problem that Walker wanted to solve with a team of 11 other scientists, including two Canadians – the New Brunswick University ecologist Les Cwynar and the University of Ottawa geologist David Fisher. They spent eight years finding exact data that everyone could agree upon, based on measurable signatures in specific physical geological features.
Now that her recommendations have been approved, Walker said, "We are relieved."  Another working group under the International Stratigraphy Commission has been working for years to add a new post-Holocene epoch, the Anthropocene, which is marked by the great impact of humans on Earth geology in the post-industrial era.
The group suggested in the journal Science in 2016 that it should start around 1950 at a border marked by a radioactive precipitation layer from widespread nuclear tests.
If it happened, it would take about 70 years The end of the Holocene – and the Meghalayan era – but Walker says, "It's not compromised in any way by the subdivisions we've proposed."