The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) is a research programme that studies the phenomenon of global change.
The International Council of Scientific Unions, a coordinating body of national science organizations, launched IGBP in 1986. It looks at the total Earth system, the changes that are occurring, and the manner in which changes are influenced by human actions.
IGBP aims to describe and understand how the physical, chemical and biological processes regulate the Earth system. It also seeks to increase knowledge of how humans are influencing the global processes, such as the carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, sulfur cycle, water cycle and phosphorus cycle. "It delivers scientific knowledge to help human societies develop in harmony with Earth's environment."
IGBP research is organised around six projects representing the Earth system - land, atmosphere, ocean and where they meet (land-atmosphere, land-ocean. atmosphere-ocean) and two further projects looking at the Earth system as a whole: Past Global Changes (PAGES) which looks at palaeoclimate, and the Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES), which helps set the agenda for Earth system models. Plus four joint projects - carbon, water, human health and food security - with the other three international global-change programmes.
In 2004, IGBP published a landmark synthesis, Global Change and the Earth System (Steffen et al). The synthesis stated that humanity was now the main driver of change at the planetary scale and that Earth is now operating in a "no analogue" state. Measurements of Earth system processes, past and present, have led to the conclusion that the planet has moved well outside the range of natural variability in the last half million years at least.
Sybil Seitzinger is the Executive Director.
- Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES)
- Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)
- Global Land Project (GLP)
- International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC)
- Integrated Land Ecosystem–Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS)
- Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER)
- Land-Ocean Interaction in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ)
- Past Global Changes (PAGES)
- Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS)
IGBP joint projects
- Global Carbon Project
- Global Land Project
- Global Environmental Change and Human Health (GECHH)
- Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS)
- Global Water System Project (GWSP)
- Earth System Science Partnership
- World Climate Research Programme
- International Human Dimensions Programme
- The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, CIESIN Thematic Guides
- "Global Change and the Earth System". Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- Revkin, Andrew C. (2012-03-29). "Scientists Call for Practical Steps to Smooth Humanity's Journey". The New York Times.
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