Title: Joint Forcing of Climate Change and Human Activities on Terrestrial Ecosystems: A Key Component in Human-Earth System

Abstract: Climate change and human activities are collectively and intricately altering structure and functioning of both natural and managed terrestrial ecosystems at an unprecedented pace. These ecosystem changes accelerate greenhouse gas cycling, water cycling, nutrition cycling, surface energy dynamics, exerting feedbacks to the global climate system. The ecosystem goods and services including plant biomass and freshwater supply have been also affected, impacting regional and global socioeconomics. Therefore, it is imperative to embrace both drivers (climate change and human activities) in understanding and modeling the underlying Human-Earth system processes. In this talk, I will present a series of case studies that investigate both anthropogenic and climatic impacts on terrestrial ecosystem dynamics at regional and global scale. Specifically, I will focus on how climate change alone, versus how climate change and farming practice collectively alter ecosystem processes, and how land use policies may carry a stronger role than climate change in modifying the relationship between human welfare and ecosystem goods and services. Based on these case studies, I will share my future endeavors in advancing the terrestrial ecosystem science. The essential goal of all these studies is to leverage the strength of an integrated Human-Earth framework to move towards enhanced human welfare with sustainable terrestrial ecosystems.

Speaker Information


Yaling Liu


Research Scientist


Earth and Environmental Engineering


Columbia University



Date and Time: 

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 3:30pm


The Jenkins Room | Croul Hall 3101