• 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.

Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems

GCTE was launched in 1992 as a Core Project of IGBP to address the question: How will global change affect terrestrial ecosystems and what will be the feedbacks to the physical climate system?

GCTE Objectives

  • To predict the effects of changes on climate, atmospheric composition, and land use on terrestrial ecosystems, including agriculture, forestry and soils, as well as ecological complexity.
  • To determine how these effects lead to feedbacks to the atmosphere and the physical climate system.

GCTE focused on the following issues: (i) the terrestrial carbon cycle with an emphasis on underlying drivers and processes of contemporary and future carbon quantities (fluxes and pools); (ii) vegetation dynamics and the processes that control them at the local and global scales, with an emphasis on landscape processes and patterns that dominate vegetation dynamics; (iii) impacts of global change on food production systems including the major species that provide the bulk of food to humanity (e.g., wheat, rice) with the associated pests and diseases and biogeochemical consequences; (iv) the links between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, and associated ecosystem stability, resilience, and buffering capacity to natural and human perturbations.

GCTE was terminated in 2003 but its science and scientific community are contributing to the current Global Land Project (GLP), a core project under IGBP-II.

The GCTE International Project Office was kindly hosted by CSIRO, Australia throughout its activity period with generous financial support from the Australian Department for Industry, Science and Resources.

GCTE Legacy

Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems. Walker, B.H. and Steffen, W.L. (eds). IGBP Book Series No. 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1996, 637 pp.

The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems. Synthesis Volume. Walker, B.H., Steffen, W.L., Canadell, J. and Ingram, J.S.I. (eds). IGBP Book Series No. 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1999, 450 pp.

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
  • May 4 - May 8, 2015

    47th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics Marine Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Prediction


  • 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.

  • 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...

  • AfricanNESS Science Plan


    A strategy for global environmental change research in Africa. Published 2008.
RECOMMENDED