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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

Scheduled special issues

The following special issues are scheduled for publication in ESD:

Hydro-climate dynamics, analytics and predictability
03 Feb 2017–30 Jun 2018 | Guest editors: R. A. P. Perdigão, N. Devineni, J. Hall, and C. Lima | Information


Hydro-climatology is a rich multidisciplinary field encompassing a complex system involving interactions of a diverse nature and diverse scales. Nevertheless, it abides by core dynamical principles regulating individual and cooperative processes and interactions, ultimately relating to the overall Earth system dynamics.

This issue aims at furthering the fundamental understanding of such overarching principles. For this purpose, the issue focuses on methodologically oriented studies on hydro-climate dynamics, regimes, transitions and extremes, along with their physical understanding, predictability and uncertainty. Moreover, the issue welcomes research on dynamical co-evolution, feedbacks and synergies among hydro-climatic and other earth system processes on multiple spatio-temporal scales.

The special issue further encourages discussion on trans-disciplinary methods in mathematical, statistical and computational physics with applications to data analysis and dynamic modelling in order to shed light on hydro-climate complexity and predictability.

The methodological debate may range from traditional non-linear dynamic, stochastic–dynamic, kinematic–geometric and information-theoretical developments to emerging frameworks in mathematical physics addressing non-ergodic thermodynamically unstable processes and interactions.

Contributions are welcome from a diverse community in climatology, hydrology and the broader physical geosciences, working with varied approaches ranging from dynamical modelling to data mining and analysis with physical understanding in mind.

The 10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference (ICDC10) and the 19th WMO/IAEA Meeting on Carbon Dioxide, other Greenhouse Gases and Related Measurement Techniques (GGMT-2017) (ACP/AMT/CP/ESD inter-journal SI)
01 Oct 2017–30 Sep 2018 | Guest editors: N. Zeng, C. Heinze, N. Gruber, M. Leuenberger, C. LeQuere, J. Pongratz, C. Prentice, J. Randerson, M. Steinbacher, and C. Zellweger | Information


The International Carbon Dioxide Conference (ICDC) is the single largest conference organized by the global research community every four years to present the latest scientific findings on the science of the carbon cycle and its perturbation by human activities. The ICDC10 in 2017 is the 10th anniversary conference. It covers fundamental science advancement and discovery, the generation of policy relevant information, and observational and modeling approaches. ICDC10 brings together scientists from different disciplines to work towards an integrated view on the global cycle of carbon in the Earth system.

The main themes of the conference are as follows:

  1. The contemporary carbon cycle
    • Trends, variability, and time of emergence of human impacts
    • Emerging approaches and novel techniques in observations
  2. The paleo-perspective: patterns, processes, and planetary bounds
  3. Biogeochemical processes
    • Process understanding and human impacts
    • Coping with complexity: from process understanding to robust models
  4. Scenarios of the future Earth and steps toward long-term Earth system stability

GGMT-2017 is a key conference on measurement techniques for accurate observation of long- lived greenhouse and related gases, their isotopic composition in the atmosphere relevant for climate change, and global warming research findings. The biannual meeting, known as the WMO/IAEA Meeting of Experts on Carbon Dioxide, Other Greenhouse Gases and Related Tracer Measurement Techniques, is to be held for the 19th time in 2017.

Main topics:

  • Developments of the GHG networks
  • CO2 observations (measurement techniques and calibration)
  • Non-CO2 observations (measurement techniques and calibration)
  • Isotope measurement and calibration
  • Emerging techniques
  • GHG standards and comparison activities
  • Integration of observations, data products and policy

The special issue is open for papers that emerged from ICDC10 and GGMT -2017 conference contributions.

The 8th EGU Leonardo Conference: From evaporation to precipitation: the atmospheric moisture transport
01 Nov 2016–31 Oct 2017 | Guest editors: L. Gimeno, V. Lucarini, F. Domínguez, J. Marengo, D. G. Miralles, R. Trigo, and S. M. Vicente Serrano | Information


A detailed study of the transport of moisture from oceanic and terrestrial sources to the continents can provide both a better understanding of the observed changes in the hydrological cycle and some physical support to the results of projections of its future climates, which is a most important topic for changes in water cycle research.

Subtopics to be included (but not strictly limited to) are

  • global distribution of water vapour: evaporation and precipitation, water vapour flux and divergence, long-range transport of water vapour;
  • source-sink relationships: methods used to establish source-receptor relationships, analytical or box models, numerical water vapour tracers, physical water vapour tracers (isotopes);
  • global source and sink regions of moisture: oceanic sources, terrestrial sources;
  • extreme events: atmospheric rivers, evaporation hot spots, anomalies of moisture transport linked to drought periods;
  • low-level jets, warm pools, monsoons and their role in the transport of moisture;
  • the identification and characteristics of moisture sources within the scope of palaeoclimatic studies;
  • implications of climate change: changes in water vapour, changes in large-scale circulation related to moisture transport, changes in precipitation, aridity, and soil moisture.

Multiple drivers for Earth system changes in the Baltic Sea region
01 Sep 2016–31 Mar 2017 | Guest editors: M. Meier, A. Rutgersson, B. Smith, M. Reckermann, and I. Didenkulova | Information


The goal of Baltic Earth is to achieve an improved Earth system understanding of the Baltic Sea region, encompassing processes in the atmosphere, on land, and in the sea, as well as processes and impacts related to the anthroposphere; i.e. the human impact is to be assessed at all levels wherever possible and reasonable. Recent research has shown that the observed environmental changes are often caused by a mixture of interwoven factors such as climate change and its associated impacts, eutrophication, pollution, fisheries, land cover change, and others. Each of these factors has a scientific and a societal dimension, which are often interdependent, and make the identification of a single or even dominant factor responsible for the change difficult.

The scope of this special issue is to attempt to describe the different factors for change, their impacts on the Earth system of the Baltic Sea region, and to demonstrate the capacity to model any of these factors in a single or a coupled approach. Are we able to simulate the observed changes in a realistic way? Are we able to produce credible scenarios for the future? Ultimately, this analysis should help to identify knowledge gaps and research needs for the coming years, to help find solutions for the challenges we face in the future.

The special issue refers to the 1st Baltic Earth Conference, held in Nida, Lithuania, 13–17 June 2016, which brought together the Baltic Earth research community to share and discuss issues related to the general conference topic "Multiple drivers for Earth System changes in the Baltic Sea region".

Social dynamics and planetary boundaries in Earth system modelling
01 May 2014–31 Dec 2017 | Guest editors: W. Lucht, J. Donges, A. Kleidon, S. Cornell, J. Dyke, M. Sivapalan, and J. J. Finnigan | Information


Human actions play an increasing role in shaping the Earth’s planetary environment, from the physical climate system to biogeochemical cycles to the functioning of the land surface. To understand and predict the future evolution of the Earth system, it is thus critical to understand the planetary boundaries of the human playing field, as well as socio-economic dynamics and their interactions with climate, and the consequences for the planetary system. There is a range of urgent questions related to this topic, from the definition of planetary boundaries, the safe operating space for humanity, thresholds and critical transitions in the global socio-environmental system, and the identification of sustainable pathways for future development.

However, the current Earth system modeling landscape lacks the tools to adequately address these challenges. Either societal dynamics is tightly constrained by economic optimization paradigms (Integrated Assessment modeling) or present only as prescribed scenario input in physical Earth system models. Furthermore, feedback loops between social and environmental processes are largely absent in current Earth system models.

What is needed is a more dynamic societal sphere allowing for social tipping points, major reorganizations, revolutions and collapse in conjunction with a description of the fully coupled co-evolutionary dynamics of human societies and the natural Earth system. In this special issue, we seek novel and innovative approaches that deal with modeling socio-economic phenomena in the Earth system, their dynamics, interactions, and boundaries.

We welcome contributions applying concepts and methods that include, but are not limited to:

  • Earth and social systems thermodynamics and stoichiometry (e.g., socio-industrial metabolism)
  • Socio-ecological systems modeling
  • Conceptual, empirical, or agent-based models from the social sciences
  • Adaptive and temporal networks
  • Dynamical and evolutionary game theory

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