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:

(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... NEW YORK , May 16, 2016   ... authentication solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded ... provides an unprecedented level of convenience and security with ... to authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and ... and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension ... light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with ... in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- A person commits a crime, and the detective uses ... criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness makes ... uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that caused ... not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge technology ... Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: