• 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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  • 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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