Marine Ecosystems and Global Change

Marine Ecosystems and Global Change

Date: 2003
Creator: Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Project (GLOBEC)
Description: The ocean is a vital component of the metabolism of the Earth and plays a key role in global change. In fact, the oceans cover so much of the Earth's surface that our planet has been described as the Water Planet, and it could be argued that its most extensive ecosystems are marine. Marine ecosystems are inextricably involved in the physical, chemical, biological and societal processes of global change. It is impossible to describe and understand the Earth system without understanding the ocean, the special characteristics of the environment that it provides for life, the changes that it is undergoing and the manner in which these changes interact with the total Earth System. Understanding the functioning of marine ecosystems and how they respond to global change is also essential in order to effectively manage global marine living resources, such as fisheries. The GLOBEC project is an international response to the need to understand how global change will affect the abundance, diversity and productivity of marine populations, from zooplankton to fish, that comprise a major component of oceanic ecosystems. GLOBEC's goal is to advance our understanding of the structure and functioning of such ecosystems, their major subsystems, and responses to physical ...
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Environmental Variability and Climate Change

Environmental Variability and Climate Change

Date: 2001
Creator: Past Global Changes (PAGES)
Description: The PAGES research community works toward improving our understanding of the Earth's changing environment. By placing current and future global changes in a long term perspective, they can be assessed relative to natural variability. Since the industrial revolution, the Earth System has become increasingly affected by human activities. Natural and human processes are woven into a complex tapestry of forcings, responses, feedbacks and consequences. Deciphering this complexity is essential as we plan for the future. Paleoenvironmental research is the only way to investigate Earth System processes that operate on timescales longer than the period of instrumental records.
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The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems

The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems

Date: 1997
Creator: Walker, Brian & Steffen, WIll
Description: From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation.
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Ocean Biogeochemistry and Global Change

Ocean Biogeochemistry and Global Change

Date: 1997
Creator: Joint Global Ocean Flux Study
Description: From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation.
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Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan

Date: 1997
Creator: Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)
Description: Human population and associated industrial activities continue to increase rapidly, and have reached levels that put the environment under stress in many areas of the world. In addition natural fluctuations of the Earth's physical and biological systems, often occur in time frames that are not readily evident to man. Such fluctuations cause additional stress on the environment, and can result in changes that impact society in terms of diminished availability of clean water, unspoiled land and natural vegetation, minerals, fish stocks, and clean air. Human societies are making a rapidly increasing number of policy and management decisions that attempt to allow both for natural fluctuations and to limit or modify human impact. Such decisions are often ineffective, as a result of economic, political and social constraints, and inadequate understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural responses. Improved understanding of such issues is important in its own right, and will contribute to ameliorating economic, political and social constraints. Developing improved understanding of environmental change is within the realm of the natural sciences and is being addressed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and other programmes concerned with describing and understanding the Earth System. Natural variability, occurring over a variety ...
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Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Date: 2006
Creator: International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC)
Description: The IGAC Science Plan and Implementation Strategy lays out the scientific objectives and key research issues of the atmospheric chemistry project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) as both IGAC and IGBP enter their second phase. It also lays out a framework for addressing these objectives and issues, recognizing the need for collaboration with partner programmes and projects. The scientific focus of this document emerged from the first decade of IGAC research, much of which was conducted in the context of focused, intensive measurement campaigns. The scope of IGAC in its next phase includes both regional characterisation and the extension into issues that cross more expansive boundaries in space, time and discipline. While local and regional-scale atmospheric chemical composition will be a primary focus, it is now clear that issues such as intercontinental transport and transformation of chemically active species and the interactions between atmospheric chemistry and climate must also be addressed in order to better understand atmospheric chemical composition and to provide guidance to the public and policy-making community.
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The Miombo Network: Framework for a Terrestrial Transect Study of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Miombo Ecosystems of Central Africa

The Miombo Network: Framework for a Terrestrial Transect Study of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Miombo Ecosystems of Central Africa

Date: 1997
Creator: Desanker, Paul V.; Frost, Peter G. H.; Justice, Christopher O. & Scholes, Robert J.
Description: This report describes the strategy for the Miombo Network Initiative, developed at an International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) intercore-project workshop in Malawi in December 1995 and further refined during the Land Use and Cover Change (LUCC) Open Science Meeting in January, 1996 and through consultation and review by the LUCC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). The Miombo Network comprises of an international network of researchers working in concert on a 'community' research agenda developed to address the critical global change research questions for the miombo woodland ecosystems. The network also addresses capacity building and training needs in the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (SAF) region, of the Global Change System for Analysis Research and Training (START). The research strategy described here provides the basis for a proposed IGBP Terrestrial Transect study of land cover and land use changes in the miombo ecosystems of Central Africa. It therefore resides administratively within the LUCC programme with linkages to other Programme Elements of the IGBP such as Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE). The report provides the framework for research activities aimed at understanding how land use is affecting land cover and associated ecosystem processes; assessing what contribution these changes are making to global change; ...
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The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa

The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa

Date: 1997
Creator: Scholes, R.J. & Parsons, D.A.B.
Description: The Kalahari Transect is proposed as one of IGBPs Transects (see Koch et al. 1995 [IGBP Report 36]). It is located so as to span the gradient between the arid subtropics and the moist tropics in southern Africa, a zone potentially susceptible to changes in the global precipitation pattern. Its focus is the relationships between the structure and function of ecosystems and their large-scale biophysical and human drivers (climate, atmosphere and land use). The Kalahari Transect spans a strong climatic gradient in southern Africa, from the arid south to the humid north, while remaining on a single broad soil type, the deep sands of the Kalahari basin. The vegetation ranges over the length of the transect from shrubland through savannas and woodlands to closed evergreen tropical forest, with land uses ranging from migratory wildlife systems, through pastoralism, subsistence cropping to forestry. The objectives of the Kalahari Transect activity are to: build an active network of regional and international researchers around the issue of ecosystem structure and function in savanna woodlands undergoing climatic and land use change; quantify the current and future role of southern African savanna woodlands in the global carbon, water and trace gas budgets and the degree of ...
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Past Global Changes (PAGES) Status Report and Implementation Plan

Past Global Changes (PAGES) Status Report and Implementation Plan

Date: 1998
Creator: Oldfield, Frank
Description: This document summarizes progress made thus far by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) programme element of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). The document also outlines the implementation plans for most of the Foci, Activities and Tasks currently within the PAGES remit. The plan first introduces the scope and rationale of PAGES science and explains how PAGES is organized structurally and scientifically to achieve its goals. For all of the palaeosciences relevant to IGBP goals, PAGES has sought to identify and create the organizational structures needed to support continued work and progress. Models intended to predict future environmental changes must, in order to demonstrate their effectiveness, be capable of accurately reproducing conditions known to have occurred in the past. Through the organization of coordinated national and international scientific efforts, PAGES seeks to obtain and interpret a variety of palaeoclimatic records and to provide the data essential for the validation of predictive climate models. PAGES activities include integration and intercomparison of ice, ocean and terrestrial palaeorecords and encourages the creation of consistent analytical and data-base methodologies across the palaeosciences. PAGES has already played a crucial role in the archiving, management and dissemination of palaeodata. This is fully summarized in the recently published ...
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START Implementation Plan 1997-2002

START Implementation Plan 1997-2002

Date: 1998
Creator: Fuchs, Roland; Hassan, Virji & Fleming, Cory
Description: The primary goals of the SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training in global change science (START), which is co-sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP); the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP); and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) are to promote regional global change science and to enhance the capacity of individuals, institutions and developing regions to undertake such research. START capacity building initiatives include the recognition that human capacity building is much more than training and that, as with all development, sustainable development is best. Once-off training exercises are easy to organize, but are the least effective method of capacity enhancement and result in large cost/benefit ratios. In contrast, sustained development of human capacity through continual involvement with research maximizes efficiency and minimizes the cost/benefit ratio. START seeks to enhance regional global change research while at the same time enhancing the individual and institutional capacity to conduct such research. The details as to how START operates, and how it plans to encompass its vision and meet its objectives are given in the START Implementation Plan.
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