Addressing the Complexity of the Earth System


This paper discusses the development of a prediction system that integrates physical, biogeochemical, and societal processes in a unified Earth system framework. Such development requires collaborations among physical and social scientists, and should include i) the development of global Earth system analysis and prediction models that account for physical, chemical, and biological processes in a coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–ice system; ii) the development of a systematic framework that links the global climate and regionally constrained weather systems and the interactions and associated feedbacks with bio-geochemistry, biology, and socioeconomic drivers (e.g., demography, global policy constraints, technological innovations) across scales and disciplines; and iii) the exploration and development of methodologies and models that account for societal drivers (e.g., governance, institutional dynamics) and their impacts and feedbacks on environmental and climate systems.
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