• 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
Published: April 24, 2013

Ticking time bombs in the human-earth system:

information, status, timing, significance, research needs
Second Australian Earth System Outlook Conference
The Shine Dome
Australian Academy of Science
26- 27 November 2012

Held in conjunction with the 25th Officers Meeting of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme

This Second Australian Earth System Outlook Conference, explored a small selection of globally significant “ticking time bombs” which pose risks of unmanageable, undesirable change unless anticipatory actions are taken that fall well outside the corrective capacity of the invisible hand of economic market forces.
The two-day meeting focussed on four themes that have tipping point potential, partly but not entirely involving climate change and biodiversity.  

Topic 1: The carbon investment bubble: the disconnection between earth system science and society in fossil fuel investments

Topic 2: Polar deglaciation and sea level rise

Topic 3: Sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef

Topic 4: Global food security in the long term

Videos and presentations available here:

Welcome & Introduction (18 Minutes)
Tas Van Ommen, National Committee Earth System Science
Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia

Topic 1:

The carbon investment bubble: Overview (23 Minutes)
Ian Dunlop

Limits of cumulative CO2 emissions for peak global warming targets – global and the Australian share. (32 Minutes)
David Karoly, University of Melbourne
Malte Meinshausen, University of Melbourne

Implied cumulative emissions commitments from existing and planned fossil fuel infrastructure investments in Australia. (25 Minutes)
John Hepburn, Sunrise Project

Constraints on institutional investment in low emission energy. (33 Minutes)
Garry Weaven, Industry Funds Management

Bursting the bubble – an integrated suite of Australian solutions for rapid transition to the low-carbon economy. Beyond Zero Emissions. (31 Minutes)
Patrick Hearps, University of Melbourne

Topic 2:

Polar deglaciation and sea level rise: Introduction
Tas van Ommen, Australian Antarctic Division and ACE CRC (19 Minutes)

The outlook for abrupt impacts from polar ice sheets. (47 Minutes)
Christian Schoof, University of British Columbia

Ice sheets and sea level in the past. (31 Minutes)
Tim Naish, NZ Climate Change Centre

The human context - impacts of sea level increase. (29 Minutes)
John Hunter, ACE-CRC

Panel Discussion (41 Minutes)
Christian Schoof
Tim Naish
John Hunter
Tas van Ommen

Special presentation:
Update on IGBP and the inter-agency Future Earth Initiative. (36 Minutes)
Sybil Seitzinger, International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
James Syvitski, International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP)

Topic 3:

Sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef

A framework for addressing transformational change. (18 Minutes)
Brian Walker, CSIRO

Tipping points and multiple drivers of change affecting the Great Barrier Reef. (23 Minutes)
Terry Hughes, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Changes to reef ecosystems shown by the AIMS monitoring program. (15 Minutes)
Peter Doherty, AIMS

Water quality changes and impacts from land. (13 Minutes)
Jon Brodie, James Cook University

The future of marine mammals and sea turtles. (13 Minutes)
Helene Marsh, James Cook University

Connectivity and the role of marine parks. (16 Minutes)
Geoff Jones, ARC Centre, James Cook University

Managing GBR World Heritage values: what’s working. (11 Minutes)

Sustaining GBR tourism. (10 Minutes)
Daniel Gschwind, Qld Tourism Industry Council

Conservation planning under change. (10 Minutes)
Bob Pressey, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Sustainability and development of the GBR. (11 Minutes)
Ian Poiner, former AIMS

Panel Discussion - Topic 3 (30 Minutes)
Jon Day
Daniel Gschwind
Bob Pressey
Ian Poiner

Topic 4:

Global food security in the long term

Global Food Security: ticking timebombs and how to defuse them. (28 Minutes)
Julian Cribb

Loss of Aqua- and Agra-land in High Population Sinking Deltas. (38 Minutes)
James Syvitski, University of Colorado

A socio-economic perspective on long term food security. (43 Minutes)
Monika Barthwal-Datta, University of NSW

Panel Discussion - Topic 4 (20 Minutes)
Julian Cribb
James Syvitski
Monika Barthwal-Datta

Concluding Remarks. (8 Minutes)
Tas Van Ommen, National Committee Earth System Science

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...