Earth now is dominated by both biogeophysical and anthropogenicprocesses, as represented in these two images from a simulation ofaerosols. Dust (red) from the Sahara sweeps west across theAtlantic Ocean. Sea salt (blue) rises into the atmosphere fromwinds over the North Atlantic and from a tropical cyclone in theIndian Ocean. Organic and black carbon (green) from biomass burningis notable over the Amazon and Southeast Asia. Plumes of sulfate(white) from fossil fuel burning are particularly prominent overnortheastern North America and East Asia. If present trends of dustemissions and fossil fuel burning continues in what we call theAnthropocene epoch, then we could experience high atmosphericCO2 levels leading to unusual warming rarely experiencedin Earth's history. This book focuses on human influences onland, ocean, and the atmosphere, to determine if human activitiesare operating within or beyond the safe zones of our planet'sbiological, chemical, and physical systems.
Volume highlights include:
- Assessment of civic understanding of Earth and itsfuture
- Understanding the role of undergraduate geoscience researchand community-driven research on the Anthropocene
- Effective communication of science to a broader audiencethat would include the public, the K-12 science community, orpopulations underrepresented in the sciences
- Public outreach on climate education, geoscience alliance, and scientific reasoning
Future Earth is a valuable practical guide for scientistsfrom all disciplines including geoscientists, museum curators, science educators, and public policy makers.
This volume was made possible with the support of the NationalScience Foundation through the National Center for Earth-surfaceDynamics (EAR-0120914) and the Future Earth Initiative(DRL-0741760). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions orrecommendations expressed in this publication are those of theauthor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NationalScience Foundation.