This volume includes revised versions of most of the presentations made at the International Conference «Understanding the Earth Sys tem: Compartments, Processes and Interactions" held on November 24-26, 1999 in Bonn. The Conference was organized by the German National Committee on Global Change Research as part of the Bonn Science Festival 1999-2000. The Bonn Science Festival (Wissen schaftsfestival Region Bonn) was organized and funded by sfg Strukturforderungsgesellschaft Bonn/Rhein-Siegl Ahrweiler mbH. The generous support for organizing the conference and printing this volume by sfg is gratefully acknowledged. Additional financial and organizational support for separate workshop sessions and publica tions have also been provided by the German Federal Ministry for Science and Research, BMBF and Germany's major research funding agency, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The editors wish to gratefully acknowledge the help, advice and especially patience of many individuals who have contributed to this volume. The contributions are intended to document the debate on crucial issues of the emerging concept of earth system science and to stimulate the necessary scientific discussion. While every effort has been made on the part of the editors to ensure consistency in termi nology, style and methods of quotation, the variety of contributors has inevitably resulted in certain discrepancies. E. EHLERS Bonn, February 2001 T. KRAFFT Contents Part I Panorama: The Earth System: Analysis from Science and the Humanities Chapter 1 Understanding the Earth System - From Global Change Research to Earth System Science . . . . . . . 3 E. EHLERS and T. KRAFFT Chapter 2 Earth System Analysis and Management. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 17 . . .