• 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 .

Abrupt changes: The Achilles' Heels of the Earth System

Environment (2004)
Steffen W, Andreae M O, Bolin B, Crutzen P J, Cubasch U, Held H, Nakicenovic N, Scholes R J, Talaue-McManus L and Turner II B L (eds)
Doi: 10.1080/00139150409604375
Vol 46; No 3; pp. 8-20

Records from the past show that abrupt global change is the norm, not the exception, in the Earth System. Many recent changes-such as the globalization of the world's economy and the formation of the ozone hole over Antarctica-appear rapid even from the perspective of a single lifetime. What do we now know about the nature of abrupt changes in the Earth System and the probability that human actions could trigger them?

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 This website is no longer updated.

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