In this benchmark volume top scholars come together to present state-of-the-art research and pursue a more rigorous framework for understanding and studying the linkages between social and ecological systems. Contributors from a wide spectrum of disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology, geography, ecology, palaeo-science, geology, sociology, and history, present and assess both the evolution of our thinking and current, state-of-the-art theory and research. Covering ancient through modern periods, they discuss the complex ways in which human culture, economy, and demographics interact with ecology and climate change. The World System and the Earth System is critical reading for all scholars and students working at the interface of nature and society. Contributors: Thomas Abel, Bjrn Berglund, Chris Chase-Dunn, Alfred Crosby, Carole L. Crumley, John Dearing, Bert de Vries, Nina Eisenmenger, Andre Gunder Frank, Jonathan Friedman, Stefan Giljum, Thomas Hall, Karin Holmgren, Alf Hornborg, Kristian Kristiansen, Thomas Malm, Daniel Mandell, Betty Meggers, George Modelski, Emilio Moran, Helena berg, Frank Oldfield, Susan Stonich, William Thompson, Peter Turchin.