How we’re turning Earth into alien planet

Earth at night

Imagery from the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership satellite shows Earth’s lights at night. In a newly published study, researchers argue that planets could be classified based on the effects of energy on the environment. (NASA Photo / Joshua Stevens / Miguel Roman)

A trio of scientists has just laid out a new classification scheme for planets that would put Earth into a hybrid category, making the transition from a diverse, photosynthetic-based biosphere to a world dominated by an energy-intensive civilization.

The researchers’ analysis meshes with the view that humanity’s influence has spawned a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene Age.

“Our premise is that Earth’s entry into the Anthropocene represents what might, from an astrobiological perspective, be a predictable planetary transition. … In our perspective, the beginning of the Anthropocene can be seen as the onset of the hybridization of the planet,” they say in a study published by the journal Anthropocene.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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