• 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 .
photo: NASA-Visible Earth


Global-change research requires long-term coordinated efforts from an international research community.

IGBP networks:

  • share expertise on experimental technologies
  • help transfer this expertise to developing countries
  • interact with modeling communities to ensure the latest understanding is used
  • conduct periodic syntheses on focused topics.

This approach leads to faster scientific progress and more comprehensive understanding of global processes and their regional variations.

An example of this approach is FLUXNET, a global network of over 240 flux towers across all major ecosystems continuously measuring key fluxes between the land and the atmosphere. Supported by IGBP's project iLEAPS and others, FLUXNET is making major contributions to the understanding of processes that control the land-atmosphere exchanges of water, energy and carbon dioxide.

FLUXNET has helped:

  • reveal the effect of changing growing season length on net carbon dioxide exchange
  • quantify variations in light-use efficiency (and hence gross primary production) with cloudiness
  • test remote sensing algorithms used in seasonal forcing of models for computing carbon exchange.
Share this page
Tell a friend (opens in new window)
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 This website is no longer updated.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...