Earth System Analysis - Research Domain 1
Our goal is to study the coupled dynamics of the geosphere, biosphere and anthroposphere under natural and human forcing. Results should shed light on the implications of future human perturbations to the Earth system.
Earth as a planet is currently in an unusually long and stable interglacial period. The dominant force for change in the present anthropocene is human activity, which is altering the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. This activity consists not only of the emission of greenhouse gases but also of direct large-scale impacts on the land and marine biosphere.
The analysis of Earth system dynamics focusses on four lines of research:
- Analysis of past climate change in order to understand the processes that amplify or dampen driving factors, leading to gradual or rapid change in system components.
- Analysis of data and scenarios of current and future climate change and its system-wide consequences.
- Analysis of the impacts of anthropogenic actions on the environment, most notably on climate, oceans, ecosystems and the spatial structure of the land surface.
- Analysis of the role of human activities as major drivers of global climate and environmental change.