• 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 .

Applicability of LOICZ Catchment-Coast Continuum in a major Caribbean basin: the Magdalena River, Colombia

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (2008)
Restrepo J D
ISSN: 02727714
Doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2007.09.014
Vol 77; Issue 2; pp. 214-229

Within the Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ)-Basins approach, the Magdalena River Project (MRP) is an interdisciplinary research, which aims to improve the scientific understanding of the linkages between the Magdalena drainage basin and its associated coastal environments. The MRP is an outgrowth of the initial regional planning that resulted from the LOICZ South American Basins (SamBas) and Caribbean Basins (CariBas) studies on land use and hydrological changes during approximately the past century in tropical and temperate benchmark river basins. The results of the MRP presented in this article show that the extent of land-cover change and erosion within the catchment has increased over the last 10-20 yr. The overall increasing trends in sediment load on a regional scale may be attributed to a range of anthropogenic influences including: a 40% decrease in forests over a 20-yr period; a 65% increase in agricultural and pasture; poor practices of land use; mining; and increasing rates of urbanization. These increasing trends in sediment load coincide with the overall decline of live coral cover in a 145-km(2) coral reef complex in the Caribbean Sea. In addition, the impacts of heavy sediment loads and freshwater discharges have greatly contributed not only to the total disappearance of coral formations but also to a considerable reduction in abundance of seagrass beds in Carta-gena Bay and neighbouring areas. The synthesis and analysis presented in this article are just first steps toward understanding the natural and human-induced factors that have produced the observed patterns of water discharge and sediment load of the Magdalena River into the Caribbean Sea, and to relating these processes to the impact on coastal ecosystems. (c) 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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