Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at UNH
UNH Scientists Take Part in International Conference on Global Change
By Sharon Keeler
July 16, 2001
DURHAM, N.H. -- Planet Earth has entered into an era without precedent. While scientists often point to human-driven changes that are modifying the global environment, it is now apparent that these changes are cumulative and interacting with natural systems, and could accelerate the Earth into a different state with implications for its habitability.
This striking message came from hundreds of global change scientists from around the world -- including several from the University of New Hampshire -- who met last week in Amsterdam for one of the largest international conferences ever held on global change.
Coming just two days before the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol Talks
in Bonn July 16, the conference, titled "Challenges of a Changing Earth,"
presented the latest scientific understanding of planet Earth and how
it is changing through natural and human forces. It also explored what
the future may hold.
Moore, who gave the opening address at the conference, pointed out several changes taking place that are having dramatic impact on the global environment and human societies. "These changes are, in fact, changes in the human-nature relationship," he said. "They are recent; they are profound; and many are accelerating."
Scientists covered many topics of global change at the conference, including food production losses, water scarcity, global warming, the Kyoto protocol, and the role of technology in a sustainable future.
In addition to Moore, UNH scientists and graduate students whose work was presented include Charles Vorosmarty, Mary Martin, Scott Ollinger, John Aber, Balazs Fekete, Lawrence Dingman, Bob Braswell, Kathy Hibbard, Changsheng Li, Stephen Frolking, William Salas, Xiangming Xiao, Mimi Becker, George Hurtt, Patrick Crill, Wil Wolheim, Peter Czepiel, Jennifer Boles, Theodore Loder, III, Janet Campbell, David Meeker, Mark Dowell, Timothy Moore, Dork Sahagian, Richard Lammers, Stanley Glidden, Michael Routhier, Annette Schloss, Michael Rawlins, Jack Dibb, Stephen Boles, Michael Keller,Alexander Shiklomanov, David Bjerklie, David Howland, Manoel Cardoso, Amy Frapper, Stephen Hagen, Pamela Green, Joseph Salisbury, Michael Prentice, Cassiano D'Almeida, Erin Penfold, and Brian Pellerin.
"The challenges of confronting and coping with global environmental changes and addressing and securing a sustainable future are daunting and immediate for all cultures, but they are not insurmountable," said Moore. "The challenges can be met, but only with a new and even more vigorous approach to understanding our changing planet and ourselves. There must be commitment by all to alter our actions. We simply must take some of the pressure off the Earth."