digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

See also: Earth science

Earth system science seeks to integrate various fields of academic study to understand the Earth as a system. It considers interaction between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere (geosphere), biosphere,[1] and heliosphere.[2]

In 1996, the American Geophysical Union, in cooperation with the Keck Geology Consortium and with support from five divisions within the National Science Foundation, convened a workshop "to define common educational goals among all disciplines in the Earth sciences." In its report, participants noted that, "The fields that make up the Earth and space sciences are currently undergoing a major advancement that promotes understanding the Earth as a number of interrelated systems." Recognizing the rise of this systems approach, the workshop report recommended that an Earth system science curriculum be developed with support from the National Science Foundation.[3]

Definition[edit]

The Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, offers the following definition: "Earth system science embraces chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and applied sciences in transcending disciplinary boundaries to treat the Earth as an integrated system and seeks a deeper understanding of the physical, chemical, biological and human interactions that determine the past, current and future states of the Earth. Earth system science provides a physical basis for understanding the world in which we live and upon which humankind seeks to achieve sustainability."[4]

Inspiration in the Gaia theory[edit]

After much scientific criticism, many elements of the Gaia theory are now considered within ecological science, basically consistent with the planet Earth being the ultimate object of ecological study. Ecologists generally consider the biosphere as an ecosystem and the Gaia theory, though a simplification of that original proposed, to be consistent with a modern vision of global ecology, relaying the concepts of biosphere and biodiversity. To promote research and discussion in these fields, an organisation, "Gaia Society for Research and Education in Earth System Science", was started.

An example of the change in acceptability of Gaia theories is the Amsterdam declaration of the scientific communities of four international global change research programmes — the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the international biodiversity programme Diversitas — recognise that, in addition to the threat of significant climate change, there is growing concern over the ever-increasing human modification of other aspects of the global environment and the consequent implications for human well-being.

The programmes have stated the following:

Research carried out over the past decade under the auspices of the four programmes to address these concerns has shown that:

  1. The Earth System behaves as a single, self-regulating system with physical, chemical, biological, and human components. The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability. The understanding of the natural dynamics of the Earth System has advanced greatly in recent years and provides a sound basis for evaluating the effects and consequences of human-driven change.
  2. Human activities are significantly influencing Earth's environment in many ways in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Anthropogenic changes to Earth's land surface, oceans, coasts and atmosphere and to biological diversity, the water cycle and biogeochemical cycles are clearly identifiable beyond natural variability. They are equal to some of the great forces of nature in their extent and impact. Many are accelerating. Global change is real and is happening now.
  3. Global change cannot be understood in terms of a simple cause and effect paradigm. Human-driven changes cause multiple effects that cascade through the Earth System in complex ways. These effects interact with each other and with local- and regional-scale changes in multidimensional patterns that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to predict.
  4. Earth System dynamics are characterised by critical thresholds and abrupt changes. Human activities could inadvertently trigger such changes with severe consequences for Earth's environment and inhabitants. The Earth System has operated in different states over the last half million years, with abrupt transitions (a decade or less) sometimes occurring between them. Human activities have the potential to switch the Earth System to alternative modes of operation that may prove irreversible and less hospitable to humans and other life. The probability of a human-driven abrupt change in Earth's environment has yet to be quantified but is not negligible.
  5. In terms of some key environmental parameters, the Earth System has moved well outside the range of the natural variability exhibited over the last half million years at least. The nature of changes now occurring simultaneously in the Earth System, their magnitudes and rates of change are unprecedented. The Earth is currently operating in a no-analogue state.

Sir Crispin Tickell in the 46th Annual Bennett Lecture for the 50th Anniversary of Geology at the University of Leicester in his recent talk "Earth Systems Science: Are We Pushing Gaia Too Hard?" stated "as a theory, Gaia is now winning."[5]

He continued "The same goes for the earth systems science, which is now the concern of the Geological Society of London (with which the Gaia Society recently merged). Whatever the label, earth systems science, or Gaia, has now become a major subject of inquiry and research, and no longer has to justify itself."

These findings would seem to be fully in accord with the Gaia theory. Despite this endorsement, the late W. D. Hamilton, one of the founders of modern Darwinism, whilst conceding the empirical basis of the planetary homeostatic processes on which Gaia is based, states that it is a theory still awaiting its Copernicus. The homeostatic nature of the global system has been recognized as a consequence of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.[6] In their comprehensive book on the thermodynamics of life, Eric D. Schneider and Dorion Sagan argue that Gaia belongs to a class of complex thermodynamic systems, not just living ones, that are naturally purposeful; and that life optimizes rather than maximizes entropy production.[7]

Scientific journals[edit]

Studies related to the discipline are published in the open-access journal Earth Perspectives .[8] and in the Journal of Earth System Science, formerly titled Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences (Earth and Planetary Sciences).[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Earth System Science". Classroom of the future. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  2. ^ Schwadron, N. A.; et al (6 September 2011). "Does the Space Environment Affect the Ecosphere?". Eos (American Geophysical Union) 92 (36): 297–301. doi:10.1029/2011eo360001. 
  3. ^ "Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Earth Science Education". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 2009-05-12. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Earth System Science in a Nutshell". Carleton College. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  5. ^ Earth Systems Science: Are We Pushing Gaia Too Hard?, University of Leicester
  6. ^ Karnani, M. and Annila, A. (2009). "Gaia Again". Biosystems 95 (1): 82–87. doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2008.07.003. PMID 18706969. 
  7. ^ Schneider, Eric, D. and Sagan, Dorion (2004). Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-73936-6. 
  8. ^ "Earth Perspectives". 
  9. ^ "Journal of Earth System Science". Springer (co-publisher). Retrieved 2009-03-10. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_system_science — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Earth System Science

NASA Connect segment explaining Earth System Science. The video also explores how modern technology studies the many different areas of Earth System Science.

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 1. Introduction and the Scientific Method

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 01. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Introduction and the Scientific Method -- View th...

Science On a Sphere Earth System Overview

Dr. Sandy MacDonald, the inventor of NOAA's Science On a Sphere, gives a Science On a Sphere Earth system overview in Planet Theater at the Earth System Rese...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 6. Plate Boundaries

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 06. Introduction to Earth System Science --Plate Boundaries -- View the complete course: http...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 5. Plate Tectonics

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 05. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Plate Tectonics -- View the complete course: http...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 12. Winds and Extreme Weather

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 12. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Winds and Extreme Weather -- View the complete co...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 22. Biogeochemical Cycles

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 22. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Biogeochemical Cycles -- View the complete course...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 10. Atmosphere Formation and Evolution

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 10. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Atmosphere Formation and Evolution -- View the co...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 25. The Climate System and Past Climates

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 25. Introduction to Earth System Science -- The Climate System and Past Climates -- View the ...

Earth System Science 1: Intro to ESS. Lecture 8. Volcanoes

UCI ESS 1: Introduction to Earth System Science (Fall 2013) Lec 08. Introduction to Earth System Science -- Volcanoes -- View the complete course: http://ocw...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

103 news items

ExecutiveGov

Optics.org
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:37:30 -0700

Part of the Earth System Science Pathfinder program, these Earth Venture investigations are regarded as small, targeted science projects that complement NASA's typically much larger research missions. It is hoped that the new sensors, which should both ...
 
LiveScience.com
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Raghu Murtugudde is executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Forecasting System at the University of Maryland Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) and a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. Murtugudde ...
 
al.com
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:37:30 -0700

When you look at the whole globe, that's a different kind of number than what happens just here in Alabama," said John Christy, the state climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Christy ...
 
Jamestown Sun
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 04:48:45 -0700

She has a doctorate in earth system science and policy from UND. Fieber-Beyer also has a Master of Science in physics from UND and a Bachelor of Science with concentrations in physics and astronomy from Minnesota State University Moorhead.
 
Environment & Energy Publishing
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:07:22 -0700

The letter was signed by Michael Mann, director of the Earth system science center at Pennsylvania State University; Scot Miller, a graduate student and methane researcher at Harvard University; Eric Davidson, an adjunct senior scientist at Woods Hole ...

International Business Times, India Edition

International Business Times, India Edition
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:59:04 -0700

Based on scientific assessment, expansion of observing system network has been formulated by Earth System Science Organization-India Meteorological Department (ESSO-IMD), under its project Integrated Himalayan Meteorology Programme for Western ...

India Education Diary

India Education Diary
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:26:15 -0700

... Doppler Weather Radars, rain radars, Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs), Automatic Rain Gauges (ARGs), Snow Gauges etc. expansion has been formulated by Earth System Science Organization –India Meteorological Department (ESSO-IMD), under its ...
 
Space Daily
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 04:37:30 -0700

The HS3 mission is funded by NASA Headquarters and overseen by NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder Program at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and is one of five large field campaigns operating under the Earth Venture ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Earth system science

You can talk about Earth system science with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!