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Earth System Analysis for Sustainability

dahlem_book.jpgEarth System Analysis for Sustainability

by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Paul J. Crutzen, William C. Clark, Martin Claussen and Hermann Held

Earth System Analysis for Sustainability uses an integrated systems approach to provide a panoramic view of planetary dynamics since the inception of life some four billion years ago and to identify principles for responsible management of the global environment in the future. Perceiving our planet as a single entity with hypercomplex, often unpredictable behavior, the authors use Earth system analysis to study global changes past and future. They explore the question of whether the unprecedented human-originated changes transforming the ecosphere today will end a 10,000-year period of climate stability.
The book presents the complete story of the inseparably intertwined evolution of life and matter on Earth, focusing on four major topics: long-term geosphere-biosphere interaction and the possibility of using extrasolar planets to test various geophysical hypotheses; the Quaternary Earth System's modes of operation; current planetary dynamics under human pressure; and transition to global sustainability. Written by leading figures in the disciplines of geology, climatology, evolution, biogeochemistry, macroeconomics, and institutions theory, Earth System Analysis for Sustainability analyzes the driving forces behind global change and uses this knowledge to propose principles to propose principles for global stewardship.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is Research Director of the Tyndall Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia and Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany.

Paul J. Crutzen is Professor Emeritus in the Division of Atmospheric Chemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; he was corecipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995.

William C. Clark is Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Martin Claussen is Managing Director and Head of the Climate System Department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Hermann Held is Head of the Mitigation Options research group within the Department of Integrated Systems Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.


The MIT Press
2004, pp 352, $ 38.05
Dahlem Workshop Reports
ISBN 0-262-19513-5

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