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the key methodologies that are central in understanding the interactions between the biosphere, geosphere, and climate.

The third part deals with the mathematical modeling of the Earth's system. This approach is currently the main tool to predict weather and climate, including simulations of future climate change. This methodology is now being extended to address a wider range of problems, including the dynamical changes of the biosphere and the geosphere. This incorporates modeling studies of the climates that existed far back in the early history of our planet.

The fourth part of this volume deals with the reconstruction of past climates with the help of different paleo data, There have been spectacular contributions in recent years, particularly from the analyses of ice cores in Greenland and the Antarctic, which have significantly changed our concept of past climate. This includes indications of rapid climate changes over periods of a few decades for which, so far, there is no comprehensive explanation. An understanding of such events requires a more in-depth understanding of the feedback processes between climate, biosphere, and gcosphcrc.

In the fifth part, summaries are given of the strategies for organizing the future science program and the particular roles ofWCRP (World Climate Research Programme) and IGBP (International Geophysical and Biological Programme).

We would like to express our deep appreciation to the Pontifical Academy of Science for organizing the Conference on "Geosp he re-Biosphere Interactions and Climate" and for the Academy's support toward this publication.

We would also like to acknowledge the valuable assistance of Dr. Annette Kirk in the editorial work.

Finally, we express the hope that publication of these proceedings will advance the knowledge and further the understanding of the complex issues addressed by the contributors.

The Editors

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