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.
Online you can find all illustrations from the book in electronic form. They can be used for Powerpoint presentations.
An Integrated Earth System.- Planetary Machinery: The Dynamics of the Earth System Prior to Significant Human Influence.- The Anthropocene Era: How Humans are Changing the Earth System.- Reverberations of Change: The Responses of the Earth System to Human Activities.- Living with Global Change: Consequences of Changes in the Earth System for Human Well-Being.- Towards Earth System Science and Global Sustainability.
From the reviews: "Outstanding Title! ! This book is a must read for anyone interested in issues related to human-induced environmental change. Following an extensive introduction to the Earth's systems before human influence, contributors detail key drivers of change, the Earth's systems responses to change, consequences of changes for human well-being, and sustainability issues. This work began as a synthesis of a decade of research undertaken by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, but grew to include many other key world environmental programs. A beautifully illustrated book, it is bound to become a classic for global change. Written by an all-star cast, it includes contributions from many key scientists in this arena. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. (D. F. Karnosky, Choice, November 2004) "Presents the results of research by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) on Global systems and change of those systems. ! Addresses the problem of discerning human impact from natural variability and presents research on how global systems have responded to human impacts. ! A deeply complex issue, does well in explaining layers and relations. Ambitious and much needed. Very technical, well researched. Over 200 useful figures and illustrations, includes CD-ROM with all figures. Recommended for advanced students and professionals involved in systems modeling." (The Northeastern Naturalist, 2007)