Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 01 August 2021

p. 162. Earth systemlocked

p. 162. Earth systemlocked

  • Erle C. Ellis


To confirm that humans have altered Earth’s functioning as a system, the causal mechanisms behind these alterations must be demonstrated. Only through a robust understanding of Earth as a system—its fundamental components, their interactions, and most importantly, the processes that keep the Earth system stable or induce change—is it possible to establish the causes of changes in the Earth system. ‘Earth system’ considers the key work of scientists such as Eduard Suess, Vladimir Vernadsky, Carl Sagan, James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, David Keeling, and Paul Crutzen and their attempts to explain the dynamics of Earth as a system, the importance of the biosphere, and human impact on our planet.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.