Anthropocene began in 1965, according to signs left in the world's 'loneliest tree'
Anthropocene began in 1965, according to signs left in the world's 'loneliest tree' Pavla Fenwick , Author provided Chris Turney , UNSW ; Jonathan Palmer , UNSW , and Mark Maslin , UCL On Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean, some 400 miles south of New Zealand, is a single Sitka spruce. More than 170 miles from any other tree, it is often credited as the “world’s loneliest tree”. Planted in the early 20th century by Lord Ranfurly, governor of New Zealand, the tree’s wood has recorded the radiocarbon produced by above ground atomic bomb tests – and its annual layers show a peak in 1965, just after the tests were banned. The tree therefore gives us a potential marker for the start of the Anthropocene. But why 1965? The 1960s is a decade forever associated with the hippie movement and the birth of the modern environmentalism, a sun-blushed age in which the Apollo moon landings gave us the iconic image of a fragile planet fra