Rull, V. (2017), Quaternary—A Multidisciplinary Integrative Journal to Cope with a Complex World, Quaternary, 1(1), 1.
We live in a Quaternary world, that is, a world shaped by the interplay of the different compartments of the earth system—lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere—during the last ~2.6 million years. It is not possible to understand the current world—and, hence, to anticipate its possible future developments—without knowing the Quaternary history of drivers, processes, and mechanisms that have generated it. Our own species is an evolutionary outcome of the Quaternary performance. The aim of this editorial is to emphasize the special character of the Quaternary period with respect to former units of the geological time scale and the significance of differential traits in the shaping of modern earth. This is not a comprehensive account but a sample of selected relevant patterns and processes, aimed at illustrating the influence of Quaternary natural history on the present configuration of our planet. The objective is to introduce the new journal Quaternary, which is born with the aim of being an integrative journal to encompass all aspects of Quaternary science focused on understanding the complex world in which we live and to provide a sound scientific basis to anticipate possible future trends and inform environmental policies.