18/05/2016 5:00 AM AEST

Human Activity Could Be Pushing The Planet Into A New Epoch

It might be time to say goodbye to the Holocene epoch.

Vivek Prakash / Reuters
Ram Singh (L) and his relatives, dressed in traditional Hindu saffron-coloured clothes walk on a garbage-strewn beach against the backdrop of monsoon clouds on World Environment Day in Mumbai, June 5, 2012. According to the United Nations Environment Programme website, World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 to raise global awareness and motivate action for environmental protection. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)

From our towering skyscrapers to our dependence on fossil fuels, it's no secret that humans are affecting our planet. But within the last decade or so, scientists have suggested that human activity may have actually pushed us into a totally new geologic epoch

The proposed new epoch is called the Anthropocene, and researchers -- armed with scientific evidence to show that this time period is distinct from the Holocene epoch -- are working to have it officially recognized. 

In this episode of HuffPost’s “Talk Nerdy To Me,” host Karah Preiss and Columbia University professor Peter de Menocal discuss what the development means and whether it's possible for us to change course before a sixth extinction becomes inevitable.

Check out the video above to learn what a new epoch could signal about the Earth's future.

Video produced by Liz Martinez, Karah Preiss and Adriane Giebel, shot by Terence Krey and Maria Tridas, and edited by Adriane Giebel and Mark Dubbs. 

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