• 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 .

Why Future Earth needs lake sediment studies

Journal of Paleolimnology (2013)

Dearing J A

DOI: 10.1007/s10933-013-9690-1

Vol 49, Issue 3, pp 537–545


The new Future Earth Framework and International Council of Science Grand Challenges highlight the need to combine environmental and complexity sciences. An improved understanding of trajectories, interactions, fast and slow processes, alternate steady states and thresholds in key natural and social phenomena are vital to the design of sustainable management strategies. Lake sediment records can provide highly resolved time-series of data that give essential long term perspectives for complex socio-ecological systems, especially at regional scales. This means that these records have important roles in addressing the Future Earth agenda, especially for ForecastingObserving and Confining environmental change within the proposed interdisciplinary themes of Dynamic Planet and Global Development.

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 This website is no longer updated.

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