• 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 .

Biosphere Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle

BAHC, a core project of the IGBP launched in 1991, addressed the question: How does vegetation interact with physical processes of the hydrological cycle?

BAHC Objectives

  • To determine the biospheric controls of the hydrological cycle through field measurements, for the purpose of developing models of energy and water fluxes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system at temporal and spatial scales ranging from vegetation patches to General Circulation Model grid cells.
  • To develop appropriate databases that can be used to describe the interactions between the biosphere and the physical Earth System, and to test/validate model simulations of such interactions.

To achieve its objectives, BAHC built an interdisciplinary project in close collaboration with the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). This allowed for an integration of the knowledge and expertise from several natural science fields, in particular, meteorology, hydrology, pedology and ecology. BAHC´s joint research activities combined experimental and observational approaches, analytical methods and modeling techniques.

The BAHC International Project Office was first hosted by Institüt für Meteorologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and later by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact (PIK) with generous support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Funding.

BAHC Legacy

Vegetation, Water, Humans and the Climate. A New Perspective on an Interactive System. Kabat P, Claussen M, Dirmeyer PA, Gash JHC, de Guenni LB, Meybeck M, Vorosmarty CJ, Hutjes RWA, Lütkemeier S (Eds.). The IGBP Series, Springer Verlag, 2004, 566 pp.

For further information about the BAHC project, and for electronic material produced by BAHC, contact the IGBP Secretariat.

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 This website is no longer updated.

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