Class 8 (02/05/2018): Baseline (continued) and Syndrome

Class slides


Syndrome: Changes in the earth system are accelerating over the last 200 years and particularly since the 1950ties. Propelled by the availability of easily accessible and seemingly infinite energy particularly in form of oil, humanity has reengineered the surface of the planet and modified major mass cycles by several orders of magnitude. Based on technological innovations, new constituents are introduced in the earth system with unforeseen consequences. The increased cycling of mass is leading to high levels of polution. As a result, biodiversity is rapidly reduced, extinction rates are accelerating, the dynamics of the coupled atmosphere-ocean-solid Earth system are transitioning to a high energy state, and climate is changing. Many positive feedback mechanisms are triggered and these are further accelearting the changes.

Reading List

Carpenter et al., 2005.

IPCC, 2013.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a extremely valuable source of information on climate change and adaptation. The "Synthesis Report" and the "Summaries for Policy Makers" are a good starting point to decide which chapters to look at. See the IPCC AR5 web page at

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