• 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 .

Nitrogen fluxes from the landscape are controlled by net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs and by climate

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (2011)
Howarth R W, Swaney D P, Billen G, Garnier J, Hong B, Humborg C, Johnes P, Mörth C-M and Marino R M
DOI: 10.1890/100178.
Vol 10; Issue 1: pp. 37-43

The flux of nitrogen (N) to coastal marine ecosystems is strongly correlated with the “net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs” (NANI) to the landscape across 154 watersheds, ranging in size from 16 km2 to 279 000 km2, in the US and Europe. When NANI values are greater than 1070 kg N km−2 yr−1, an average of 25% of the NANI is exported from those watersheds in rivers. Our analysis suggests a possible threshold at lower NANI levels, with a smaller fraction exported when NANI values are below 1070 kg N km−2 yr−1. Synthetic fertilizer is the largest component of NANI in many watersheds, but other inputs also contribute substantially to the N fluxes; in some regions, atmospheric deposition of N is the major component. The flux of N to coastal areas is controlled in part by climate, and a higher percentage of NANI is exported in rivers, from watersheds that have higher freshwater discharge.

Follow us

Please note!

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 This website is no longer updated.

No events available

  • 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...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 83

    This issue features a special section on carbon. You can read about peak greenhouse-gas emissions in China, the mitigation of black carbon emissions and the effect of the 2010-2011 La Niña event on gl...