From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth's surface. With Earth's population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more important than ever to understand how and where these changes are happening. Innovation in the geographical sciences has the potential to advance knowledge of place-based environmental change, sustainability, and the impacts of a rapidly changing economy and society.
Understanding the Changing Planet outlines eleven strategic directions to focus research and leverage new technologies to harness the potential that the geographical sciences offer.
National Research Council. 2010. Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12860.
|Part I: Introduction
|Part II: Strategic Research Questions
|1 How Are We Changing the Physical Environment of Earth's Surface?
|2 How Can We Best Preserve Biological Diversity and Protect Endangered Ecosystems?
|3 How Are Climate and Other Environmental Changes Affecting the Vulnerabilities of Coupled Human–Environment Systems?
|4 How and Where Will 10 Billion People Live on Earth?
|5 How Will We Sustainably Feed Everyone in the Coming Decade and Beyond?
|6 How Does Where People Live Affect Their Health?
|7 How Is the Movement of People, Goods, and Ideas Transforming the World?
|8 How Is Economic Globalization Affecting Inequality?
|9 How Are Geopolitical Shifts Influencing Peace and Stability?
|10 How Might We Better Observe, Analyze, and Visualize a Changing World?
|11 What Are the Societal Implications of Citizen Mapping and Mapping Citizens?
|Part III: Moving Forward
|Appendix A: Committee and Staff Biographies
|Appendix B: Acronyms and Abbreviations
|Appendix C: AAG Open Session Agenda and Speakers
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