Leopoldina member Paul J. Crutzen introduced the term "Anthropocene” in the year 2000. This linguistic innovation expresses the indisputable fact that humankind has been a determining force on our planet since the middle of the 20th century. In terms of force and effect, we are in no way inferior to geological forces and are changing the system Earth permanently.
In the German science system, the geosciences in particular have traditionally been concerned 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 part of the geosciences or 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 analyze the systemic potentials and specific problems of transdisciplinary scientific development within the field of the Earth system and to formulate proposals for improvements on current research and educational structures.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina