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Active planet – the theme of the EGU2016

The Earth is a planetary body with an active interior that keeps it in a state of perpetual change: gradual over the course of eras but violent and sudden on much shorter timescales.

The Sun drives the weather and the hydrological cycle. This activity redistributes vast amounts of heat and fresh water across the planet’s surface. It also erodes mountain chains and deposits sediments, continuously shaping the Earth’s outer surface.

The mass of the Sun and the Moon generate the tides, and the Sun’s energy powers the ocean currents, whose massive masses of water carry heat, oxygen, and nutrients across 70 percent of the Earth’s exterior.

The biosphere is a source of activity on Earth that is unique among the planets that are currently known. A multitude of life forms interact with the lithosphere, the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere. The activity of early life forms changed the composition of the atmosphere with dramatic effects for the future development of life.

In the present, our species is the life form with the largest effect on the outer shell of the planet. The impact of our activities is now such that their consequences are long-lasting and felt globally, presenting us with questions and challenges that drive much of the scientific activity on display at the General Assembly.

The General Assembly 2016 aims to address some of the aspects of active planet in dedicated lectures, join-in activities, photo competitions, and through movies shown in the Geo Cinema.

Lectures on active planet

  • Antje Boetius: The active outer shell of Earth: What remains to be explored in carbon and life interactions? (abstract), Tue, 19 Apr, 13:30–15:00 / Room 0.93
  • Cynthia Ebinger: The Active Solid Earth (abstract), Tue, 19 Apr, 15:30–17:00 / Room 0.93
  • François Forget: Active other worlds in the Solar System and beyond (abstract), Thu, 21 Apr, 13:30–15:00 / Room 0.93
  • Berit Arheimer: The active liquid Earth – importance of temporal and spatial variability (abstract), Thu, 21 Apr, 15:30–17:00 / Room 0.93