Understanding Global Change Earth System Infographic
Global change is complex because the Earth is a dynamic system made up of many parts that interact through physical, chemical, and biological processes. The Understanding Global Change (UGC) Project at UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology developed an infographic to organize the complexity of global change processes and phenomena.
The Understanding Global Change Infographic organizes global change topics into three categories:
- How the Earth System Works: These are processes in the hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere that shape Earth through time (e.g. ocean circulation, the greenhouse effect). Changes to the global energy budget affect these Earth system processes. Elements, including carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, cycle within and between the spheres. All these processes together shape our global climate and ecosystems.
- Measurable Changes in the Earth System: These are the changes that occur within the Earth system that scientists measure (e.g., temperature, precipitation, and biodiversity). These measurements (data) are evidence of global changes. The quality of human life is affected by measurable changes that impact our air, water, and food.
Concepts in these three categories are represented in the UGC infographic by icons. To explore the UGC Infographic at various levels of complexity, click and download the PDF files below.
HHMI Biointeractive Complex infographic Poster
Simple infographic with spheres
Additional versions of the infographic, including resources in Spanish and for grades 3-5, will soon be available on the UC Berkeley Understanding Global Change Website.