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Vital organs in the Earth system: What is the prognosis?

SESSION TITLE: Vital Organs in the Earth System: What is the Prognosis?
SESSION DATE: 2/19/2006, 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM
LOCATION: Renaissance Grand Hotel (opposite main conference venue, America's Center)
SPONSOR: International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP)

Researchers from an international network monitoring the health of the Earth System will present their findings on how the planet is responding to the stress test of human induced global environmental change at the AAAS symposium "Vital Organs in the Earth System: What is the Prognosis?"

The symposium features research highlights from a global effort, coordinated by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), to locate and monitor Earth's "vital organs," those locations and processes that regulate the functioning of the entire planet. Human-induced changes to the planet, now occurring at an unprecedented rate, could alter these processes dramatically and irreversibly, with potentially unforseen consequences for humankind.

Earth System scientists from around the globe will present current research on Amazon deforestation, the shrinking West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the slowdown of the North Atlantic Current, global implications of expanded land use, and the affects of increased ocean acidification. A new generation of Earth System models that help assess the consequences of these changes, and a new internet-based databank Collaboratory linking global and local land-use knowledge, also will be presented.

The symposium's panel of internationally renown experts reflect the broad range of disciplines required to take the pulse of the planet. Speakers include:

Kevin Noone, Executive Director, IGBP
Vital Organs in the Earth System
There is a growing awareness that the Earth, like the human body, operates as a complex, coupled system. This has led to the concept of "vital organs "or "hotspots," i.e. components, processes or regions that help re
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Contact: Mary Ann Williams
williams.maryann@gmail.com
518-364-7481
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
19-Feb-2006


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