• China’s emissions glimpsing the peak


    China recently announced its intention to peak its carbon-dioxide emissions. How soon could the emissions peak and at what absolute value? Libo Wu explores.
  • The greening of the Southern Hemisphere


    The 2010-2011 La Niña weather event brought lush vegetation to vast semi-arid regions in the Southern Hemisphere and altered the delicate balance of the global carbon sinks. Owen Gaffney explores how La Niña might change in the future and what that might imply.
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:

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  • Jun 24 - Jul 2, 2015

    8th World Environmental Education Congress: Planet and People - How can they develop together


    Who should come? The congress is an international meeting point for everyone working with education for environment and sustainable development or which have an interest in the field. WEEC 2015 is as such an opportunity to learn more about the latest in environmental and sustainability education, to discuss with people from all over the world, to share your own work and to learn from others. We are expecting participants from a wide range of countries. Are you maybe a researcher, educator, student, decision-maker, NGO or media working with or having an interest in education for environment and sustainable development, or are you just curious? Welcome!Are you interested in sharing your research or sharing good examples regarding education for environment and sustainable development? Perhaps you work with an interesting education model which you would like to share through for example a workshop? In that case we recommend you to submit an abstract by the 19 of December, 2014. The registration for the congress opens on the 15 of November, 2014.Examples of participants:
    • Researchers and educators at universities
    • Teachers teaching all ages
    • Students
    • Folk high-schools
    • Local, regional and national government agencies, municipalities
    • Officials from international organizations
    • NGOs
    • Managers of parks and protected areas
    • Private companies who are interested in environmental and sustainability issues and in education
    • Media/press
    The congress will discuss the role and importance of education for environment and sustainability at all levels ; both in higher education and for lower ages .Two main categories of abstracts can be submitted: academic abstracts and practitioner abstracts. As such, practitioner abstracts could be a description for example of a teaching model regarding environment and sustainability.
  • Aug 23 - Aug 28, 2015

    14th International Swiss Climate Summer School



  • 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...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 82


    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...
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