Understanding the interface between the land and the atmosphere has been an important component of IGBP’s research. Here we highlight three recent contributions that resulted from research sponsored by the Integrated Land Ecosystem–Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS).
Every year, more and more people are flocking to live near the sea’s edge, often congregating in massive cities. Sophie Blackburn and Mark Pelling explore what happens when urban and coastal zones collide.
Earth behaves as a complex system. Complex systems can respond abruptly to changes within the system - these abrupts changes can be highly non-linear. There is strong evidence that the Earth system is prone to such abrupt changes.
Human-induced global change has pushed the Earth system into a no-analogue state — where climatic and other environmental conditions are outside of the range of the last half million years (at least), increasing the likelihood of unpredictable changes with potentially harmful consequences. Exploring and quantifying Earth system interactions is therefore extremely important. The Earth system perspective demands a new scientific approach and innovative conceptual and technical tools. Separate Earth system components, properties and processes — such as the composition and circulation pattern of the atmosphere — still need to be investigated, but should be studied as integral parts of a system, so as to understand their interactions and feedbacks. Furthermore, in the era of global change, humanity must also be considered a part of the Earth system. Indeed, IGBP includes the human social, cultural and economic systems as within the Earth system.
IMBER focuses on the interactions and linkages between biogeochemical cycles and food webs, including humans, with the aim of improving the predictive capacity for marine ecosystems increasingly affected by global change. As the marine environment is very complex, particularly in the context of global change, indicators are often used to provide a practical and economical way to track the state of ecosystems. This fourth IMBER summer school, ClimEco4, will continue IMBER’s focus on fostering research at the interface of natural and human systems. It will be structured around lectures and activities that focus on indices of climate change, climate impacts, and ecosystem services, and how these are linked to indices for socio-economic and policy information in relation to climate-ecosystem interactions.
This issue features a full-spread infographic on deltas at risk, accompanied by a Q&A with IGBP Chair James Syvitski. You can also read about coastal megacities, the progress in crystallising the Sust...
This issue’s cover story puts 2000 years of regional temperature histories into perspective. Also featured: two full-spread maps visualising the PAGES 2k regional temperature records and ocean acidifi...