The intensification of natural resource extraction from terrestrial systems is occurring at a breakneck pace and in many cases without adequate knowledge—or with complete disregard—of the limits and capacity of the supporting ecosystems, water resources, air and soil quality, and surface geology. The complex interactions across these environmental domains that function to support human activity occur in what has been recently conceptualized as the Earth's “Critical Zone” (CZ), the thin surface layer from the top of vegetation to the bottom of aquifers. Rapid growth in human population, changing consumption patterns, and climate change are intensifying pressures on the CZ, especially in emerging economies such as China.
The 2015 Joint Annual Conferences of the US-China EcoPartnership for Environmental Sustainability (USCEES) and the China-US Joint Research Center for Ecosystem and Environmental Change (JRCEEC) will focus on critical zone science, sustainability, and services. It will bring together and leverage the scientific communities from the USCEES, the JRCEEC, and members of the US Critical Zone Observatory Network (US-CZO) to address key aspects of CZ function and services and the threats to its sustainable use from a changing climate, increasing urbanization and population, and increasing resource extraction pressure.
If interested in attending, registration begins July 20th and can be completed here.