The Leopoldina member Paul J. Crutzen introduced the term "Anthropocene” in the year 2000. This linguistic innovation expresses the irrefutable fact that since the middle of the 20th century humankind has become a determining planetary force that is just as influential as geological forces and is capable of effecting permanent changes to the Earth system.
In the German science system it is mainly the geosciences that traditionally concern themselves with the Earth system. This discipline has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. Atmospheric research, geophysics, geology, biogeochemistry, geodesy, meteorology, microbiology, mineralogy, ecosystems research, remote sensing, paleoclimatology and space exploration are all a part of the geosciences or are at least facets of Earth system research. Earth science has thus become a highly diverse discipline that interfaces with many other departments and is correspondingly fragmented.
The goal of the Earth System Research working group is to designate and analyse the systemic potential and specific problems of transdisciplinary scientific development within the Earth system scientific enterprise and to formulate suggestions for improving the research and educational structures.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society
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