• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .
Published: October 6, 2014

IGBP – 30 years in Sweden

Venue: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Date: 20 October 2014

Time:  6.30-9.00pm

News |

On 20 October IGBP will celebrate three decades in Sweden with an event at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Endorsed by the Swedish Parliament in 1986, IGBP was the first major international programme to study the Earth as a system and the phenomenon of global change. The Swedish government and research community played a pivotal role in the formation of IGBP and have been central to our success.

The IGBP – three decades in Sweden event aims to celebrate IGBP’s achievements and celebrate Sweden’s tremendous contribution. It will bring together people past and present who have been part of the IGBP community in Sweden. The event coincides with IGBP's annual Officers Meeting, this year held in Stockholm.

The event will also be an opportunity to meet the Future Earth transition team.

Academy Foyer

6:30-7:00         Drinks reception and music

Linne Salen       


IGBP Executive Director Sybil Seitzinger

The Early Years

First IGBP Director Thomas Rosswall

IGBP’s Achievements

IGBP Chair James Syvitski

Transition to Future Earth

Interim Swedish director Thomas Elmqvist


Anders Turesson, Senior advisor to the Swedish Government,

Anders Granlund, Sida Lead Policy Specialist for Climate and Environment,

Reflections from the audience

Closing remarks Royal Academy Permanent Secretary Staffan Normark

Music and mingle

For a historical perspective, in 1986 NASA published a report Earth System Science: overview (a program of global change) which provided an intellectual framework for IGBP. The report was produced by a committee led by Francis Bretherton and contained the now famous "Bretherton diagram" capturing the key Earth system processes. This report has been digitised by Google and is available here.

More information:


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IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.

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