Human activities now play a major, integral and ever-increasing role in the functioning of the Earth System. This fact lies at the heart of the notion of the Anthropocene. Documenting, understanding and responding to the present and future challenges posed by the recent, dramatic changes in the relationship between humans and their environment thus becomes an imperative for human society. This editorial presents the rationale for engaging with the Anthropocene across a wide range of disciplines from engineering and environmental science to the social sciences and humanities. This essentially transdisciplinary engagement requires the establishment of a new journal, The Anthropocene Review, the scope of which is outlined in this editorial.
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