IGBP's latest annual report has just been published. The report highlights research from across IGBP's nine projects including palaeoclimate, marine science, land-use change and atmospheric chemistry.
In the foreward to the latest annual report, IGBP Chair James Syviski and
Executive Director Sybil Seitzinger reflect on some of the events and achievements during the past year:
If the quality of scientific publications is any indicator of the health of IGBP’s projects then it is safe to say that they are in great shape. The papers that emerged from the projects last year
tackled such diverse topics as global land-use change and oceanic carbon sinks. Collectively, this research contributed to an improved
understanding of the interconnections among, for example, land-use change, air pollution, ocean acidification and ecosystems. It will
help to inform decisions and policies aimed at responding to the complex challenges of the Anthropocene.
Much of the research highlighted the strength of international collaboration that has been a hallmark of IGBP since it was founded.
An excellent example is the assessment of millennial-scale regional temperature variability coordinated by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) project. This endeavour was the culmination of a worldwide data collection and analysis effort that involved scientists from many different countries. In addition to the projects, IGBP’s national committees also held workshops and undertook regionally relevant scientific activities.
In September last year Stockholm witnessed the launch of the Summary for Policymakers of the fifth assessment report of IPCC’s Working
Group I. Following the launch, the IGBP secretariat and its partners organised a major public event that took stock of the key findings
of the report. The IPCC reports are a testimony to the important contributions made by our programme: IGBP research informed the
assessment and our scientists contributed as authors and reviewers. We continued to have a close working relationship with the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): as with previous years IGBP reported to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific
and Technological Advice about the latest global-change research.
Our overarching synthesis is now well under way. In January this year we had a very productive workshop on the Anthropocene concept in Washington, DC. The workshop co-organised by IGBP and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) – brought together biogeochemists, modellers, historians, economists, journalists and others to explore the Anthropocene concept from different perspectives. Other components of our synthesis include a retrospective and perspective on Earth-system science, and an
assessment of the projects’ contributions to global-change research. The synthesis will lead to a series of papers in peer-reviewed journals.
IGBP has always placed great value in ensuring that its research is disseminated as widely as possible. Throughout last year the
communications team worked closely with the projects, publishers and media outlets to fulfil this purpose.
In addition to our regular products such as the Global Change magazine we produced a summary for policymakers on ocean acidification, several
infographics and data visualisations. We were active on social media. The projects themselves continued to spend considerable effort in communicating their research. Last year they reached out to the wider
community not only via traditional outlets such as newsletters but also via social media.
We held our Scientific Committee meeting in Switzerland last year, whereas the Officers met in Botswana for their annual meeting.
The interim secretariat for the Future Earth initiative was appointed last year. We are helping Future Earth to develop a strategic research agenda and communications products. Many of our core projects are
developing new science plans to respond to the growing need for integrated research on environmental change and sustainability.
Looking ahead, all of IGBP’s components – the projects, scientific and national committees and the secretariat – will continue to coordinate
high-quality research and engage in training and capacity-building activities. The coming year promises to bring new collaborations,
novel perspectives and innovative research.
James Syvitski (IGBP Chair) and Sybil Seitzinger (IGBP Executive Director)
IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.