Environmental Systema


Monitoring Changes in Environmental System

Why Is This Indicator a Good indicator of Sustainability?

Priority Locations for Component Measurements

Working title for an indicator of environmental sustainability

About which environmental systems will the proposed indicator provide information?

List the individual variables that must be measured or inferred from observations to construct the indicator.

Will the indicator provide information relevant to monitoring changes in the environmental system?

Why is this indicator a good indicator of sustainability?

Key locations around the globe for making the measurements necessary to construct indicator.


Environmental systems include but are not limited to the components of the physical earth system.

NOT the “engineering quantities” or the signal directly detected by an instrument or sensor.

What changes?


Include locations for “taking the pulse” of the planet to ascertain environmental sustainability.


Changes may or may not be caused by human activities.

aThe term “environmental system” is used here to reflect the use of the term “environmental sustainability,” which for this purpose refers to the environmental component of the broader concept of sustainability. Broadly speaking, sustainability includes Human-Environment Systems (HES) and the interfaces among the components of HES. An environmental system may consist of one of the components of the earth system reflected in the topical panel areas, subcomponents of those areas, and interfaces among them.


Please provide a brief (one-page) synopsis of your panel’s thoughts, including why the proposed list of indicators is sufficient for assessing and monitoring environmental sustainability in your topical area. The synopsis should speak to how the proposed indicators represent a step beyond previous efforts to develop indicators that are limited to monitoring climate change and explain how the indicators facilitate monitoring the sustainability of environmental systems.

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