Man's Massive Global Impact: A Look At The Anthropocene Epoch In National Geographic (PHOTOS)

National Geographic continues its yearlong coverage on global population with Elizabeth Kolbert's latest article in the March issue on the "Age of Man," which focuses on "the Anthropocene," a new name for a new geological epoch defined by humans' massive impact on the planet. As Kolbert's report states:

It's a new name for a new geologic epoch--one defined by our own massive impact on the planet. That mark will endure in the geologic record long after our cities have crumbled...Probably the most obvious way humans are altering the planet is by building cities, which are essentially vast stretches of man-made materials--steel, glass, concrete, and brick. But it turns out most cities are not good candidates for long-term preservation, for the simple reason that they're built on land, and on land the forces of erosion tend to win out over those of sedimentation.

Read the full article by Elizabeth Kolbert in the March 2011 issue of National Geographic, available on newsstands now.

View the amazing full gallery here.

View a small sample of images from the gallery below. All photos and captions are shown courtesy of National Geographic.

Anthropocene—Age of Man