Questions for How People Have Been Shaping the Earth


Before reading

1.    Signs of human impacts on Earth are visible everywhere. Will that evidence last forever? Why or why not?

2.    Have you ever seen layers of rock in a cliff face or road cut? If you wanted to examine the oldest rocks in those layers, where would you look? Explain your answer.

During reading

1.    How is the geologic record like a journal?

2.    What is geologic time?

3.    What is the dominant force of change on Earth?

4.    Define Anthropocene.

5.    What is the hallmark of the Holocene?

6.    How do Gifford Miller and other scientists explain the current warming trend?

7.    Why is the increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere linked to the start of the Industrial Revolution?

8.    Explain how an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere also affects the oceans.

9.    What is an extinction event?

10. Define stratigraphy.

After reading

1.    Explain how carbon dioxide emissions can have a dramatic effect on ocean food webs.

2.    Is it wrong, or even too early, to say we are living in the Anthropocene? Why or why not?


1.    As we go about our daily activities, we generate both carbon dioxide and garbage. One is invisible, the other is not. Which will have the longer-lasting effect on Earth? Give a detailed answer, providing details to support your argument.