• Using the Planet


    Even before the advent of agriculture, Homo sapiens kicked off an entirely new process of planetary change. Earth would never be the same. Instead of mere centuries, Erle C Ellis advances a broader view of the Anthropocene, over many millennia, and what that means for land stewardship.
  • Lessons from a simulated civilisation


    The rise and fall of the ancient Maya has
    intrigued historians and archaeologists for decades. Now, Earth-system scientists are taking a keen interest. Scott Heckbert asks: what role might environmental conditions and trade play in the growth and eventual collapse of a civilisation?

photo: iStockphoto/Daniel Sambraus

Research and projects


IGBP science is the study of the Earth system, in particular the interactions between biological, chemical, physical  and human systems.

Core projects


IGBP has 12 major international projects (including 4 joint projects coordinated by the Earth System Science Partnership). Each project has an international project office (IPO). Several projects also have satellite offices - "nodal offices" -  throughout the world.



Joint projects and studies



Synthesis


In 2009, IGBP decided to synthesise knowledge about a series of policy-relevant topics.

  • Earth-system impacts from changes in the cryosphere (Lead: Ray Bradley)
  • Impacts from changes in the cryosphere on the biota and societies in the arid Central Asia (Lead: Qin Dahe)
  • Megacities in the coastal zone (Lead: Mark Pelling)
  • Global environmental change and sustainable development: needs of least developed countries
  • Geoengineering impacts (Lead: Pauline Dube)
  • Nitrogen and climate (Lead: Jan Willem Erisman)
  • Impacts of land-use-induced land-cover changes on the functioning of the Earth System (Nathalie de Noblet and Peter Verburg)
  • Air pollution and climate (Paul Monks and Kathy Law)


Major endorsed projects


Recent Fast-Track Initiatives

We have run several Fast-Track Initiatives over the years. These were designed to reduce uncertainty in key areas of the Earth system or to develop new ideas or concepts. The most recent ones were:

Share this page
Tell a friend (opens in new window)
Follow us
IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index IGBP Climate Change Index

  • Global Change Magazine No. 81


    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...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 80


    The cover story in this issue explores the phenomenon of land grabs by taking a closer look at the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. Also featured are articles on resilience in the face of sea-level...
RECOMMENDED