MSU researchers put new science to the test to solve global sustainability challenges

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Part of China's North-to-South Water Transfer Project (view larger image)

Sustainability scholar, university distinguished professor and Michigan State University AgBioResearch scientist Jianguo “Jack” Liu, the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability, has been putting the award-winning telecoupling framework to the test to examine the often unseen and unaccounted for consequences, good and bad, that come with distant human-nature interactions.

The telecoupling concept, introduced by Liu in 2008, allows scientists from many disciplines to examine how distant environmental and socioeconomic actions lead to reactions and feedbacks – and then to more repercussions that make a global impact.

He says that the level of global connectivity – brought by increased travel, lightning-fast communication via the internet and cell phones, vast exchanges of goods and services, and many human activities – has come with certain myopic perception of what it all means.

“More than ever in our world, supply and production is separate – often by thousands of miles – from the places that demand and consume resources,” Liu said.

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