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The Contributions of Personalities/People on the

Understanding of the Earth systems

1. One of the first scientist to push for


a more integrated or holistic approach
in the understanding of the universe
(and by extension the Earth) was
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander
von Humboldt. He considered the
universe as one interacting entity.

Wilhelm
Heinrich
Alexander von
Humboldt
Alexander
von
Humboldt(1769
1859), the
mostfamousGer
man of his time,
was celebrated as
a geographer,
explorer, and
naturalist; he was
less well known
for his valuable
contributions to
the development
of the social
sciences.

The
term
Vladimir
"biosphere"
Vernadsky
was
popularized by
Vladimir
Vernadsky
(1863-1945), a
Russian
-Ukrainian
scientist who
hypothesized
that life is a
geological force
that shapes the
Earth.

In the 1970s, the Gaia Hypothesis was


jointly developed by James Lovelock,
an English scientist/naturalist, and
Lynn Margulis, an American
microbiologist. According to the Gaia
Hypothesis. the biosphere is a selfregulating system that is capable
of controlling its physical and
chemical environment.

Gaia hypothesis
TheGaia hypothesis, also known
asGaia theoryorGaia principle,
proposes thatorganismsinteract
with theirinorganicsurroundings on
Earthto form asynergistic
self-regulating,complex systemthat
helps to maintain and perpetuate the
conditions forlifeon the planet.

In 1983, NASA advisory council


established the Earth Systems Science
Committee. The committee, chaired by
Moustafa Chahine, published a ground
breaking report Earth System
Science: A Program For Global
Change in 1988. For the first time,
scientist were able to demonstrate
how the many systems interact.

Moustafa Chahine

NASA- National Aeronautics


and Space Administration