On the 25th September 2018, Emeritus Prof. Will Steffen give a lecture in the Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto, under the title: Earth System Dynamics: A Systems Approach to the Anthropocene, with the presence of the Portuguese Minister of the Environment, Eng. João Pedro Matos Fernandes.
Abstract: A complex systems framework is increasingly being applied to difficult challenges that face humanity at a number of scales. Nowhere is this more important than in framing the challenge of global change at the level of the Earth as a whole. We describe the structure and functioning of the Earth System and the role of humans in changing the system. The future trajectory of the Earth System can best be understood in a complex system framework. The current, human-driven trajectory of the Earth System is moving towards a potential planetary threshold, created by internal feedbacks in the system, that could take the Earth System out of human control and irreversibly into a Hothouse Earth state.