Navigation Links
Changing ecosystems throw scientists mega-challenges

Accelerating environmental changes have presented humanity with some significant scientific and engineering challenges, according to the new National Science Foundation (NSF) report, Pathways to the Future: Complex Environmental Systems: Synthesis for Earth, Life and Society in the 21st Century.

Among the changes the report cites are rapid shifts in climate and ecosystems, the degradation of freshwater resources, global spreading of diseases, and the increasing threat of biological and chemical terrorism. Among the research challenges are the need to understand how and why these changes are occurring—especially when multiple stresses are acting on environmental systems simultaneously—and how best to respond to them.

"Now more than ever," write the members of the NSF Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, who authored the report, "scientists must address combinations of factors in their research, such as the interactions between human activities and natural cycles at different spatial and temporal scales."

The report encourages NSF to maintain its foundation-wide emphasis on investigations of coupled human and natural systems, as currently embodied in the Biocomplexity in the Environment program, and discusses related goals.

"Environmental research and education should remain on the forefront of science funding" said David Skole, a geographer at Michigan State University and ACRE chair. " This document is an attempt to put forth for the ERE portfolio at NSF in these budget-constrained times, while continuing to stimulate this important research are main focal point is research on coupled human and natural systems, which is integrate understanding our environment."

The report also focuses on water as a complex environment system. "All human natural systems are influenced by the distribution, abundance, quality and accessibility of water," it says. With continued human population growth and the uncertain impa cts of of environmental change, the report states, ensuring an adequate quantity and quality of freshwater for sustaining all forms of like is a growing challenge. " Integrated, multidisciplinary, and multi-scale, water-related research is necessary for meeting the challenge."

The authors recommend that NSF focus on water as a unifying theme for research and complex environmental systems. Because it is a critical resource whose availability strongly impacts human health and economic development, answering questions in that domain will advance scientific understanding while addressing urgent societal issues. The report states those results could then be applied to other potential focus areas for research on complex environmental systems, such as land use, energy and climate.


'"/>

Source:National Science Foundation


Related biology news :

1. New Study from Affymetrix Laboratories Points to Changing View of How Genome Works
2. Changing length of days reverses how estrogen affects aggressiveness in mice
3. Scripps scientists find potential for catastrophic shifts in Pacific ecosystems
4. Ocean acidification threatens cold-water coral ecosystems
5. Beaver dams create healthy downstream ecosystems
6. First Biodiversity Census of coral reef ecosystems in the NW Hawaiian Islands
7. Seagrass ecosystems at a global crisis
8. Study warns deep-sea mining may pose serious threat to fragile marine ecosystems
9. Global survey of lizards reveals greater abundance of animals on islands than on mainland ecosystems
10. Genomics throws species definition in question for microbes
11. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016 Paris ... Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of people ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international ... and services, announced today that its video security solution will ... to back up public safety across the country. The system ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM Business ... industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to interact ... questions via voice or text and receive relevant information about ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can ... personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., ... Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field ... DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: