This essay introduces the notion of “human-geosphere intersections”, describes “engineering” as an aspect of anthropogenic global change, and reflects on particular “paradigms” that may govern human-geosphere intersections. Seen conceptually, engineering is undertaken to meet needs and preferences of people within a composite framework of technological means, scientific insights, worldviews, and value system. Nowadays, the engineering of production systems, of consumption patterns, and of related intersections of human activities with the biotic and abiotic environments is a central feature of the anthropogenic global change process. In the last centuries, the cultural evolution of humankind took a development path that now is furthering an engineered planetary process to intersect properties of the geo-biosphere with the noosphere (“human-geosphere intersections”). Four paradigms, ”adjustment”, “dovetailing”, “decoupling” and “modulating” are discussed, which may frame the engineering of human-geosphere intersections. These paradigms convene different insights into how bio-geosphere and noosphere function, how to alter human-geosphere intersections, and how engineering mediates between both spheres. Whatever paradigm is retained to engineer human-geosphere intersections, geoscience know-how has to be part of the noosphere, and geo-ethics should provide an orientation how human activities and geosphere should intersect.
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