In 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate recognised the deteriorating resilience of the Earth system, with planetary-scale human impacts constituting a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. Earth system resilience critically depends on the nonlinear interplay of positive and negative feedbacks of biophysical and increasingly also socio-economic processes. These include dynamics in the carbon cycle, large-scale ecosystems, atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere that can absorb geophysical shocks (e.g. volcanic eruptions), as well as the dynamics and perturbations associated with human activities.
Maintaining Earth in the Holocene-like interglacial state within which the world’s societies evolved over the past ~10,000 years will require industrialised societies to embark on rapid global-scale socio-economic transformations. In addition to incrementally increasing environmental hazards, there is a risk of crossing tipping points in the Earth system triggering partly irreversible and potentially cascading changes.
In this session we invite contributions on all topics relating to Earth resilience, such as assessing the biophysical and social determinants of the Earth’s long-term stability, negative feedback processes, modelling and data analysis and integration of nonlinearity, tipping points and abrupt shifts in the Earth system, and the potential for rapid social transformations to global sustainability.