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ALL EARTH 2023, VOL. 35, NO. 1, 1-2 https://doi.org/10.1080/27669645.2022.2163747 EDITORIAL The new year brings new challenges, hopes, resolu- The dynamic Earth is never in rest. Natural and tions and solutions. It is encouraging to recall some of anthropogenic forces have been imposing constant the efforts and progress achieved in the past year changes on Earth’s land, air and water systems and towards improving understanding about the nature biomes. All the forces have brought significant conse- of our home planet. quences and societal impacts. Through research The splashdown of NASA Artemis I mission’s explorations we strive to reveal and understand the Orion spacecraft on 11 December 2022 inspired complexities of individual and interactive processes of the world. The photograph captured from this different components. We develop new theories and spacecraft, on its long elliptical orbit of the Moon, methods with ever-improving Earth observation cap- divulged a never-before-seen view of our home abilities, sensing technologies, computational capaci- planet together with her natural satellite in an ties, and with increasing accessible open sources of immense void space of darkness. With our rapidly data, multidisciplinary and international collaborations. changing home planet in context, compare the ico- The uniqueness of the Earth system includes its nic image of Earthrise photographed by Apollo 8 characterization of different boundaries, where signif- astronaut William Anders from a flyby above the icant movements and confrontations occur across Moon on 24 December 1968, the new Orion image varying spatial, temporal and energy scales. revealed the astonishing beauty, so as the tough- Boundary zones are among the most dynamic and ness and resilience of our mother planet Earth. The changing areas of the world, which always present image also alerted us that the planet Earth is challenges in research development. For example, the unique, yet very fragile and vulnerable. lithospheric plate movements, where tectonic plates Although the target of the Apollos and Artemis diverge, collide and transform, have been constantly I was the Moon, but the images and observations forming and reshaping the world. The coastal zones, changed our perception about the planet Earth. The where land and water meet on edge of oceans, have craters on the moon’s surface reminded us the forceful been constantly battling between damages and bombardments from comets and asteroids on this air- recoveries and transitions from various forces coming less, waterless, and lifeless loyal neighbour of the Earth. to shore. Climate change and rising sea levels are It is amazing to see the change of moonscape between transforming coastlines around the world. Climate images captured by the Apollos and Orion spacecraft. change alternates location and formation of tree Down to Earth, we concern about human-induced lines, snow lines, glaciers’ fronts and ecotones. changes on climate, landscape and seascape, loss of Human activities impose changes on land systems, habitats for biodiversity, intensified frequency and hydrological regimes, ecosystem functions and ser- severity of natural disasters, and accumulated impacts vices, and biodiversity. Human-established bound- of environmental changes on life and well-being aries, such as geopolitical margins where cultures among inhabitants of the planet. This is particularly and societies separate and integrate, are always true when the scope of change is worsening towards among the attentions. Natural-created boundaries, irreversible tipping points of no return. such as watersheds and natural barriers, are always We study the series of mass extinctions on Earth’s sensitive to environmental, ecological and economic history through geological times. NASA’s Double securities due to availability and restrain of resources Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission demon- and commodities. Policy-defined boundaries, such as strated an action to purposely changing the motion protected lands and waters where natural and cul- of a celestial object. The success of DART on tural heritage and biodiversity survive and sustain, are 26 September 2022 gives hope that mankind may be always among key interests in monitoring and assess- able to protect our home planet from a Cretaceous- ment of status across sectors. Figure 1 is merely an Palaeogene type of extinction event. We extremely assemblage of a handful examples of landscape fea- concern, however, about the Holocene (or tures and animal species that future generations are Anthropocene) biodiversity extinction that we have entitled to observe and share theplanet with. been facing and witnessing. The catastrophic conse- The resources on our mother planet Earth are plen- quence this round is due to the role that modern tiful for each and every life. The sustainability, however, humans have played. depends upon our responsible use, respectful © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 2 EDITORIAL Figure 1. a. the snow cap of Mt. Kilimanjaro (photographed February 2002); b. a Haleakalā volcanic landscape in Maui, Hawaii; c. a section of rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in Iceland; d. a grizzly bear with a caught sockeye salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska (photographed September 2006); e. Siberian tiger is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (photographed August 2008 in a wildlife sanctuary, Northeast China); f. a polar bear on the forest-tundra ecotone of the east coast Hudson Bay, Canada (photographed October 2016); g. a volcanic landscape of Changbai Mt., Northeast China; h. Hawaiian monk seal, endemic to Hawaiian Islands, is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (photographed July 2018 in Kauai); i. Siberian Crane, a migratory species, is on the IUCN Red List of Critically Endangered (photographed January 2016 in Poyang Lake wetland, China). (Photo credit: Yeqiao Wang). attention, collective wisdom, commitment, dedication, unknown and uncertainties among the complex- effort and action from all sectors of the society. ities. All Earth provides a forum for sharing Unprecedented changes on planet Earth across scales research findings about the characteristics of indi- upheave extraordinary heats of global attention and vidual and interactive processes of components in requests of action. In November 2022, delegates from hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, governments and stakeholders around the world gath- planetary change and palaeosciences, and Earth ered in the 27th United Nation’s Climate Change observations. All Earth is devoted to the uptake of Conference (COP27) to track actions addressing cli- the latest original research into evidence-based mate emergency and targets. On 19 December 2022, policy advice and decision-making towards sustain- United Nation’s Biodiversity Conference (COP15) ability of our home planet. adopted the global biodiversity framework, which pro- vides concreate measures to an action for protection of Yeqiao Wang 30% of terrestrial and marine ecosystems by 2030. Department of Natural Resources Science, Studies in Earth sciences are usually location- University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, based, scale-dependent and time-specific. USA Research efforts and studies enable disentangling email@example.com
All Earth – Taylor & Francis
Published: Dec 31, 2023
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