Earth system science began in 1983 when the NASA Advisory Council established the Earth System Sciences Committee, which published their revolutionary report Earth System Science: A Program For Global Change in 1988. The committee, chaired by Francis Bretherton, showed for the first time how the many systems interact. The term "earth system science" was first used by Moustafa Chahine of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, during a meeting with Bretherton. Chahine noted scientists had studied the solar system for many years, now it was time to study the earth system.
A schematic diagram of the earth system proposed by the Bretherton committee, 1988.