The earth we inhabit consists of the natural habitats of ocean, air, and land, and all the ecosystems they nurture interact to shape the global environment. For thousands of years the earth's environment has conferred tremendous benefit to all life and also protected and fostered human existence and civilization. However, in recent years the drastic environmental changes stemming from human activity, including global warming, have appeared. It has become a significant and urgent problem for the world to examine the specific conditions, investigate their causes, and forecast future developments.
The science of environmental change is a field that aims to monitor the oceans, air, land, and ecosystems, using a wide variety of techniques to define prevailing conditions, understand the mechanisms of change, and then develop forecasting models that combine the findings with the expertise to better predict future changes.