Earth system science is an approach to obtain a scientific understanding of the entire Earth system on a global scale by describing how its component parts and their interactions have evolved, how they function, and how they may be expected to continue to evolve on all time-scales. The aim of this review is to introduce some key examples showing the role of earth surface processes, the traditional subject of geomorphology, within the interacting Earth system. The paper considers three examples of environmental systems in which geomorphology plays a key role: (i) links between topography, tectonics, and atmospheric circulation; (ii) links between geomorphic processes and biogeochemical cycles; and (iii) links between biological processes and the earth’s surface. Key research needs are discussed, including the requirement for better opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, clearer mathematical frameworks for earth system models, and more sophisticated interaction between natural and social scientists
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