Global Environmental Change
Members of this cluster are drawn primarily from Earth System Dynamics, but also across the discipline from Spatial and Geographic Information Science, and Human Geography, with a common goal of understanding the effects of stresses upon the Earth system from natural and human induced changes. Examples of such research at SFU include studies of global climate change, glacier melt, land cover, soil degradation, landscape water flows, terrestrial ecosystem conservation and disturbance regimes, and rising sea level from declining glacial ice, and process-based modeling of such Earth system changes. We seek to develop a holistic scientific understanding of the cumulative effects multiple simultaneous stresses have upon the Earth system. Earth system responses to individual stresses may vary considerably, and the strength and direction of potential responses to the individual stresses must be assessed to ultimately understand the net effects. Understanding the nature of such complex biogeophysical responses, in combination with drivers of changing human behavior and economics, is critical for policy makers to make appropriate decisions in managing our rapidly changing planet.