Planet Earth and Climate Change
The awareness of global climate change is currently a key topic of discussion among different sectors of society including Earth sciences, economic sciences, politics, and of course, among the population in general. The increase in the average atmospheric temperature by about 0.7 °C over the last 130 years is an accepted value. A shift to warmer temperatures has evidently been taking place which actually began with industrialization.
The situation to date testifies that for the realization of mitigation and adaptation strategies a comprehensive understanding of the complex system Earth is essential. Quantitative forecasts, for example, on climate evolution are only possible when comprehensive modelling of the interactions between the atmosphere and the oceans, the ice masses, the Earth’s interior, the Earth’s surface including the hydrosphere and biosphere has taken place. This task requires an intensive liaison between all sub-disciplines of the geosciences, biodiversity research, meteorology, climate research, and technical sciences. In order to cover socioeconomic aspects, for example, it is necessary to incorporate social and economic sciences. In this area there is still great need for further research.
Politics and science are now faced with the challenge of deducing strategies with which not only the effects of the climate change can be controlled by society but also in which benefits resulting from climate change can be adequately put to use.
Internationally coordinated action to protect our Planet Earth and to preserve our natural resources for current and future generations and in this way to avoid conflicts or even war is urgently necessary.