This Initial Science Plan identifies key environmental changes that affect the people and societies of the regions of Asia affected by monsoons. The plan pinpoints people and environments which are most vulnerable to monsoon damage. The plan ends with a reflection on important scientific issues and lists a number of future actions for the Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study.
Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) is an IRS research program over monsoon Asia under START and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). It was established to address questions about the coupled human and environment system in the monsoon Asia region. The vision of MAIRS is to significantly advance understanding of the interactions between the human and natural components of the overall environment in the monsoon Asian region and implications for the global earth system, in order to support strategies for sustainable development. Regional-scale studies of global change provide the knowledge base for undertaking vulnerability analyses, identification of hotspots of risk and studies of environmental degradation which are crucial for the sustainable development. Regions may manifest significantly different environmental dynamics, and changes in regional biophysical, biogeochemical and anthropogenic components may produce considerably different consequences for the earth system at the global scale. Regions are not closed systems and thus the linkages between regional changes and the global earth system are crucial. This specific report focuses on Planning Workshop on MAIRS Mountain Zone Implementation that held in China. Integrated Regional Studies (IRSs) should have relevance for people living in the regions and should provide a sound scientific basis for the sustainable development of the countries in the regions, and IRSs are also important from an earth system science perspective.