What is the challenge and the vision?
Living sustainably on the Earth as it changes requires us to develop a full understanding of the Earth system. As societal demands on the Earth increase, Policy makers and Industry must have the information necessary to make informed decisions to ensure society’s safety, well-being and economic demands, from understanding and mitigating natural hazards, to anthropogenic effects on climate change and sustainable management of natural resources. Public perception, understanding and acceptance of how the Earth may change in their life-time or in future generations need to be addressed urgently. Research agencies, industry and government across Europe must engage and define a new approach to address this challenge. Underlying this is the need for data on the Earth system which can be accessed, openly communicated and, when appropriate, sourced by all stakeholders and the public to define realistic base-lines and models of the Earth. We believe that Europe, through a FET Flagship, can take global leadership in the "Ultimate Earth Project". This model will need to scale to accommodate discipline specific (climate, resources, health etc.) and national Earth, environment and socio-economic models that will develop in parallel.
The attached docment authored by Prof. John Ludden, executive Director British Geological Survey, UK, and Prof. Philippe Gillet, Earth and Planetary Science Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) represent a consortium of leading earth and environmental scientists, and informatics experts expands this.