The Earth Solar systems Research Partnership: An integrated approach to Global Change
The Earth System encompasses the linked interactions and exchanges of atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and humans – the so called anthroposphere. Changing one component can influence the whole system, since feedbacks and global teleconnections are an integral part of the Earth system. Currently, human activities are altering several key aspects of the Earth system. This is most notable in the changing composition of the atmosphere in regard to greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, in land use changes and therefore land cover, and in reduced biodiversity.
Global change with its many cycles and complex feedback mechanisms cuts across scientific disciplines. Understanding the processes behind global and climate change can only be achieved by looking at the Earth system as a whole. The scope of this task, however, is larger than what can be achieved by any single institute. Therefore, the following institutes joined forces to form the Earth System Research Partnership (ESRP):
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena (MPI-BGC)
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz (MPI-C)
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg (MPI-M)
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS)
The coordinated research of the four institutes within the Partnership (ESRP) allows a much broader and deeper understanding of the relationship between the different processes shaping the Earth system. The Partnership investigates the system`s organization, its material and energy fluxes, and feedback mechanisms. Focal issues range from geochemical cycles such as the water and the carbon cycle to the global change patterns of socioeconomic factors and thereby induced impacts. Through field studies and laboratory analyses as well as model simulations, the ESRP creates long-term and large-scale data bases necessary for the study of the Earth system.
The Partnership studies processes on many levels, from the interaction of single molecules in chemical reactions to global cycles. With these insights the ESRP develops, improves and applies Earth System Models to analyze past, present, and most of all future changes. This information is instrumental in finding ways to mitigate and adapt to global change.
The Partnership’s members are part of diverse major international and national research programmes and closely collaborate with further institutes.