• 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 .

The archaeology of global environmental change

Humans and the Environment: New Archaeological Perspectives for the 21st Century (2011)

Crumley C, Davies M and Nkirote F (eds)

Oxford University Press

Recent, widely recognized changes in the Earth system are, in effect, changes in the coupled human-environment system. We have entered the Anthropocene, when human activity - along with solar forcing, volcanic activity, precession, and the like - must be considered a component (a 'driver') of global environmental change (Crutzen and Stoermer 2000; Levin 1998). The dynamic non-linear system in which we live is not in equilibrium and does not act in a predictable manner (see Fairhead, chapter 16 this volume for further discussion of non-equilibrium ecology). If humankind is to continue to thrive, it is of utmost importance that we identify the ideas and practices that nurture the planet as well as our species. our best laboratory: experimentation requires time we no longer have. Thus the integration of our understanding of human history with that of Earth system is a timely and urgent task.

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 This website is no longer updated.

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  • Global Change Magazine No. 84

    This final issue of the magazine takes stock of IGBP’s scientific and institutional accomplishments as well as its contributions to policy and capacity building. It features interviews of several past...

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