Earth System Science (ESS) is the application of system science to the Earth sciences. In particular, it considers interactions between the Earth's "spheres"—geosphere, pedosphere, hydrosphere atmosphere and biosphere—as well as the impact of human societies on these components.
The Research Center for Earth System Science (ReCESS) at Yunnan University aims to meet the nation’s strategic need in resources and environments, through advancing knowledge on Earth System Science.
The Center identifies southeastern Tibetan Plateau (including Yunnan Plateau, Myanmar, Laos and other southeastern Asian regions) as the target study area, with scientific interests focusing on the history, processes, mode and mechanism of plateau uplift, its environmental effects, and co-evolution of environment and biodiversity in the region.
Cenozoic uplift of Tibetan Plateau is the most single important event in Earth’s recent history. The timing, process, mode, mechanism and environmental effects of the plateau uplift have therefore been the focus of research in Earth System Science for decades. As the southeastern extension of Tibetan Plateau, uplift of Yunnan Plateau has exerted profound influence on regional geomorphology, drainage evolution, climatic changes and biodiversity, all of which falls into the scope of the center’s interest.