Geological Survey of Spain (IGME-CSIC)

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SMC participants

geologist and member of the Scientific Culture Unit of the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME-CSIC)

Director of the Water and Global Change Department

Contents related to this centre

In 2010, nearly 1,000 sub-basins around the world were facing water shortages. But when considering not only water quantity, but also water quality, this figure rises to more than 2,500, according to a study published in Nature Communications. By 2050, the authors estimate that up to a third of sub-basins will face severe shortages of clean water, which could affect 3 billion people. Southern China, Europe, North America and Africa will be the most affected regions.

Crawford Lake

The Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy has  proposed Crawford Lake in Canada as a reference site for studying the Anthropocene as a possible geological epoch. This proposal for a Global boundary and Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) was presented today at the International Congress of Stratigraphy in Lille, France. It is a necessary, but not sufficient step for the Anthropocene to enter the International Chronostratigraphic Table, the worldwide reference for geological units. Once approved by the AWG, this proposal has to go through three more votes in international geological bodies. 


The term Anthropocene describes the profound changes on Earth due to human activities in the past decades. The concept comes from geology but has spread to other areas and has sparked controversy within science. In this article, we provide some keys to understand what the Anthropocene is, and why there has been debate in recent days surrounding its possible declaration.