The Silurian hypothesis: would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?

Gavin A. Schmidt, Adam Frank
2018 International Journal of Astrobiology  
AbstractIf an industrial civilization had existed on Earth many millions of years prior to our own era, what traces would it have left and would they be detectable today? We summarize the likely geological fingerprint of the Anthropocene, and demonstrate that while clear, it will not differ greatly in many respects from other known events in the geological record. We then propose tests that could plausibly distinguish an industrial cause from an otherwise naturally occurring climate event.
doi:10.1017/s1473550418000095 fatcat:dz6wrwac3bb2ldwaajff22yu6a