• 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 .

Global Analysis, Integration and Modelling

GAIM was a Task Force of IGBP launched in 1993 to address the question: How can our knowledge of components of the Earth System be integrated and synthesized in a numerical framework that provides predictive capacity?

GAIM aimed at the integration of the understanding flowing from the disciplinary-oriented core projects so as to provide a holistic understanding of planetary dynamics. This Task Force differed from an "IGBP core project" in that it was a group of scientists each conducting independent research which was coordinated and integrated through the GAIM International Project Office.

GAIM Objectives

  • To develop a strategy for the rapid development, evaluation, and application of comprehensive prognostic models of the global biogeochemical sub-system which could eventually be linked with models of the physical-climate sub-system
  • To propose, promote and facilitate experiments with existing models or by linking subcomponent models, especially those associated with IGBP Core Projects and with WCRP efforts.
  • To clarify key scientific issues facing the development of global biogeochemical models and the coupling of these models to GCMs
  • To assist the IPCC process by conducting timely studies that focus upon elucidating important unresolved scientific issues associated with the changing biogeochemical cycles of the planet and upon the role of the biosphere in the physical-climate sub-system, particularly its role in the global hydrological cycle.
  • To advise the IGBP-SC on progress in developing comprehensive global biogeochemical models and to maintain scientific liaisons with WCRP Steering group on global climate modeling.

After more than a decade-long effort, achieving impressive results, GAIM was terminated in 2004, after providing the foundations for both the current Global Carbon Project (GCP) and the building the platform for the new generation of integrative modeling activities in AIMES (both under IGBP-II).

GAIM International Project Office was kindly hosted by University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA with generous financial support from NSF, NOAA, EPA and DOE.

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IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.

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