Chemical Geology, 161, 1-4 (1999).
『In 1987, at the instigation of the then President-Elect, D.J.
McLaren, and Past-President, R.H. Haymes, of the Royal Society
of Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR)
was considering creation of a program that could help to understand
the evolution of this planet as a background perspective to the
publicly debated issues of Global Change. It was felt that such
a program should take a “holistic” approach of the Earth System
Science type. Two alternatives were debated, one dealing with
a background perspective on geological time scales, while the
other contemplated the immediate sociological and environmental
issues of Global Change. As a result of these internal discussions,
the Research Council of the CIAR proposed holding a symposium
that would introduce the geological concept for further deliberation.
The symposium was held in February 1988 in Toronto and the invited
speakers (W.S. Broecker, K. Burke, S.J. Gould, W.S. Fyfe, R.H.
Hynes, D.J. McLaren, J.W. Schopf and J. Veizer) covered different
aspects of the Earth System. This was followed by another presentation
to the CIAR Research Council (C. Beaumont, J. Hayes, J. Veizer
and J.C.G. Walker) in 1989.
As a result of these presentations, the nominated task force (C.R. Barnes, M.R. Dence, W.S. Fyfe, C.S. Holling, D.J. McLaren, E,G. Nisbet, D.F. Strong and J. Veizer) was mandated to prepare an outline of the program for submission to the CIAR. Their written submission, including potential membership, was submitted to the CIAR in July 1990. In 1991, the CIAR Board of Directors approved in principle creation of the program in Earth System Evolution, to be initiated in 1992/1993 as a complement to the programs in Evolutionary Biology, Cosmology and Gravity, and five other programs in economics, health and engineering. The stated mandate of the new program was to study the quantitative evolution of the Earth System on geological time scales.
The role of the CIAR is to foster broadly based, network type cooperation, in basic research by mostly providing funds for interaction, but in some instances also for release time of participants.
The participants in the first quinquennium phase (1993-1998) were the following: Sergio Albeverio (Bonn U.), Christopher arnes (Victoria), Christopher Beaumont (Dalhousie), Jean Braun (ANU), John Hayes (Woods Hole), Paul Hoffman (Harvard), Atein Jacobsen (Harvard), Lee Kump (Penn State), Kurt Lambeck (ANU), Anthony Lasaga (Yale), Bernhard Mayer (Calgary), Jerry Mitrovica (Toronto), Gerry Ross (GSC, Calgary), Daniel Schrag (Harvard), Harald Strauss (U. Munster), Brunello Tirozzi (Rome), Jan Veizer (Ottawa and Ruhr U., Bochum), James Walker (Michigan), Michael Whiticar (Victoria), Sean Willett (U. Washington) and James Zachos (UC, Santa Cruz). The program, with somewhat changed membership, was renewed for the second quinquennium (1999-2004).
As is evident from the above membership, the Earth System Evolution Program has two complementary goals. The first is to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary history of our planet and the impact of human activities on it. The focus of efforts is on the assembly of testable records of global environmental changes across a hierarchy of time scales, from human to geological. This is accomplished mainly through the use of geochemical techniques that provide a broad background against which to gauge the extent of human impact on the planet's environment and climate. These studies also contribute to a database for testing questions dealing with the origin and evolution of life, oceans, the atmosphere, continents, and mineral resources on planetary time scales.
The program's second goal is the forward modelling of dynamic geological processes, such as mountain formation and landscape development, to gain a better understanding of the underlying controls on the evolution of the Earth System. Another research direction focuses on the Earth's response to glacial cycles, providing insight into both the modern climate system and human prehistory.
This special volume is devoted to the first research topic, evolution of the Earth System from a geochemical perspective. The contributions are grouped into several subsections that will be briefly described below.
... GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND ...
... GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION FROM ISOTOPE PROXY SIGNALS ...
... MODEL INFERENCES FROM ISOTOPE PROXY DATA ...
... GEOLOGICAL TIME SERIES AND PREDICTION CAPABILITIES ...
... HUMAN DIMENSIONS: GEOLOGICAL LESSONS ... 』