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Future Earth - Advancing Civic Understanding of the Anthropocene

Diana Dalbotten, Gillian Roehrig, Patrick Hamilton (Eds.)

Futre Earth Book Cover

Earth now is dominated by both biogeophysical and anthropogenic processes, as represented in these two images from a simulation of aerosols. Dust (red) from the Sahara sweeps west across the Atlantic Ocean. Sea salt (blue) rises into the atmosphere from winds over the North Atlantic and from a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean. Organic and black carbon (green) from biomass burning is notable over the Amazon and Southeast Asia. Plumes of sulfate (white) from fossil fuel burning are particularly prominent over northeastern North America and East Asia. If present trends of dust emissions and fossil fuel burning continues in what we call the Anthropocene epoch, then we could experience high atmospheric CO2 levels leading to unusual warming rarely experienced in Earth's history. This book focuses on human influences on land, ocean, and the atmosphere, to determine if human activities are operating within or beyond the safe zones of our planet's biological, chemical, and physical systems.

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