SG - Is Earth a Closed Ecosystem?

The human species has been living on planet Earth for quite some time now. But oddly enough we have not always been a part of the Earth System. Up until the 1980s, systems scientists didn’t consider humans as an intrinsic factor in planetary regulation. When did this change? And why?

Organised by Studium Generale

Tue 15 June 2021 20:00

Venue Impulse, building number 115
Stippeneng 2
6708 WE Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 482828

Is Earth a Closed Ecosystem?

Starting with the insights derived from NASA’s iconic Earthrise photograph, and pondering over his own career as an environmental systems analysist, Rik Leemans sheds light on some of the most important changes in the field that is now known as Earth System science.

Can we understand the Earth as a closed ecosystem? And how do evolutionary processes influence this utterly complex and interactive system? Buckle up!

About series ‘Biodomes and Spomes. What Do Closed Ecosystems Teach Us About Life on Earth?’

Imagine inhabiting a massive mason jar; substantially closed with respect to matter, but open to energy. What are the preconditions for life to thrive within such a closed ecosystem for an indefinite amount of time? And what role do we play in regulating these systems from both the outside and inside? Fasten your seatbelts, for in this series we travel through biodomes and spomes to unravel what closed ecosystems teach us about life within the largest known space home – planet Earth.

About Rik Leemans

Rik Leemans
Rik Leemans

Rik Leemans is Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis, with a strong focus on the resilience, vulnerability, and sustainability of ecosystems. Before he became the head of the ESA group – and after he abandoned his short career as a photographer – Rik studied the successional dynamics, structure, and models of boreal forests. He directed the development of the IMAGE-2 global climate change model, and has actively participated in the UN-Panels on Climate Change (IPCC) and biodiversity (IPBES). Within the Earth System sciences he is feared as much as he is celebrated for his fierce critique of the Bretherton model for climate and biospheric cycles, where humans are only an external factor. He put people into these models.

Registration Instructions

Registration for Live Attendance in Impulse (on-campus):

  • Seating is limited due to the live in person maximum admittance for this venue. Priority is given to WUR students.
  • To register for a single seat at this activity send an email to info.sg@wur.nl. It is not possible to register for someone else. Subject: Seat registration + Title and date of the event.
  • You will receive an email at the latest in the lunch hour on the day of the event confirming your admittance to the live event and giving you further instructions and essential information. Know that your registration is not transferable. Should you develop symptoms or encounter circumstances requiring your cancellation, please send an email to info.sg@wur.nl preferably before 16.00 on the day of the event, so we can give your seat to someone on the waiting list.

Registration for the Livestream: If you wish to follow this event online via the livestream (MS Teams meeting), please register via info.sg@wur.nl. Subject title: Livestream + Title and date of the event. The livestream is directly accessible for WUR-account holders.