Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet Under Pressure

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Springer, Sep 1, 2005 - Nature - 336 pages
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The interactions between environmental change and human societies have a long, complex history spanning many millennia, but these have changed fundamentally in the last century. Human activities are now so pervasive and profound that they are altering the Earth in ways which threaten the very life support system upon which humans depend. This book describes what is known about the Earth System and the impact of changes caused by humans. It considers the consequences of these changes with respect to the stability of the Earth System and the well-being of humankind; as well as exploring future paths towards Earth System science in support of global sustainability.

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About the author (2005)

Will Steffen is Executive Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, and is also Science Adviser, Department of Climate Change, Australian Government. From 1998 to mid 2004, he served as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, based in Stockholm, Sweden. His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate change and Earth System science, with an emphasis on incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis; and on sustainability, climate change and the Earth System.

Frank Oldfield is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Geography, University of Liverpool.

Katherine Richardson is Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen and Professor in Biological Oceanography. She has been active both as a member and chairman of several national and international research committees and advisory bodies including the scientific steering committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. She is Chairman of the Danish Government's Climate Commission. She was also chairman of the Scientific Steering Committee for the international scientific congress Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions. The focus of her research is carbon cycling in the ocean and how changing climate conditions influence biodiversity in the ocean and the ability of biological processes in the ocean to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Richardson has authored over 75 scientific publications and a large number of popular scientific works, including Our Threatened Oceans (2009, Haus Publishing; with Stefan Rahmstorf).