Spaceship Earth: An Introduction to Earth System Science

What is Earth System Science?
Earth System Science (ESS) is the application of systems science to the Earth sciences. It attempts to study the whole Earth as a system of many interacting parts and focus on the changes within and between systems.

Methane Emergency

Methane has long been considered a harbinger of climate catastrophe. According to NASA, “what we know for sure is that a lot more methane (CH4) has made its way into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”

Global Dimming Dilemma

Aerosol Earth

“We must not believe those, who today, with philosophical bearing and deliberative tone, prophesy the fall of culture and accept the ignorabimus. For us there is no ignorabimus, and in my opinion none whatever in natural science. In opposition to the foolish ignorabimus our slogan shall be: We must know — we will know!” —David […]

Blue Ocean Event

The Arctic in Free Fall
According to Jarvis Cocker, author at The Guardian who wrote The Iceman Cometh, “of the Arctic sea ice, 75% has been lost over the past 30 years. Last year saw sea-ice levels plummet to the second-lowest since records began.

Paleoclimatology 101

We should be interested in Paleoclimatology because it is important for past, contemporary, and future issues. Understanding past climate helps us to explain how current ecosystems came to be. For example, climate typically controls what types of vegetation grow in a particular area.

Methane 101

Climate Forcing

Methane (CH4) is one of the most powerful, abundant and surprising greenhouse gases. It is defined in chemistry as a colorless, odorless flammable gas which is the main constituent of natural gas. It is the simplest member of the alkane series of hydrocarbons and is the most commonly found gas. It is a chemical compound that shows up nearly everywhere on the planet. Why and where it shows up is often a mystery. In many ways it is an unknown. The story of methane is a complex and fascinating tale with many current controversies.