Search Results

IHDP Global Carbon Cycle Research: International Carbon Research Framework

Description: The degree to which carbon flows balance each other - human activities leading to carbon emissions into the atmosphere, vegetation and oceans soaking it up - is the subject of vigorous debate. It is not yet possible to define quantitatively the global effects of human activities such as forestry and agriculture, and may never be so. However, studies to determine these effects have emerged as critical for understanding how the earth's climate will evolve in the future. Global concern about the potential implications of the behaviour of the carbon cycle under anthropogenic stress includes concepts of system instability and large scale change. To contribute to understanding this behaviour, and our potential responses to it, requires a thorough investigation of both biophysical and social systems. Until recently, most scientific assessments of such risks focused on the anatomy of conceivable environmental changes themselves, devoting little attention to either the human driving forces or the ecosystems and societies that might be endangered by the changes. Recently, however, questions about the linkage and interaction of social, ecological, and biogeochemical systems are emerging as a central focus of policy-driven assessments of global environmental risks. The approach used here is to accept humans as an integral part of the carbon cycle, not as an agent perturbing an otherwise natural system - indeed, this approach assumes there is no independence of the different components of the carbon cycle. The human dimensions research community sees this critical and necessary re-conceptualisation as the foundation of a new approach to studying the interaction between human and environmental systems.
Date: February 2001
Creator: Gupta, Joeeta; Lebel, Louis; Vellinga, Pier & Young, Oran
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

Earth System Governance: People, Places, and the Planet

Description: This science plan elaborates upon the concept of Earth system governance, defined as the interrelated systems of formal and informal rules and actor-networks that are set up to steer societies towards preventing, mitigating, and adapting to environmental change within the normative context of sustainable development. The notion of governance here refers to a less hierarchical and more decentralized system than traditional governmental policy-making, inclusive of non-state actors such as non-governmental organizations, indigenous communities, and international organizations.
Date: 2009
Creator: Earth System Governance Project
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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; and predicting what effects global change in turn could have on land use dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. The key issues identified are: patterns, causes and rates of change in land cover in relation to land use; consequences of land-use and land-cover changes on regional climate, natural resources, hydrology, carbon storage and trace gas emissions; determinants of the distribution of species and ecosystems in miombo; and fundamental questions of miombo ecosystem structure and function.
Date: 1997
Creator: Desanker, Paul V.; Frost, Peter G. H.; Justice, Christopher O. & Scholes, Robert J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries

Can Cities Reduce Global Warming?: Urban Development and the Carbon Cycle in Latin America

Description: This report includes case studies on urban development and the carbon cycle in the Americas. The authors intend to demonstrate the consequences of different pathways of urban development on the carbon cycle, and identify points of management and intervention aimed at designing less-carbon intensive development.
Date: 2005
Creator: Romero Lankao, Patricia; López Villafranco, Héctor; Rosas Huerta, Angélica; Günther, Griselda & Correa Armenta, Zaira
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

Report of Planning Workshop on MAIRS Mountain Zone Implementation

Description: 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.
Date: June 2007
Creator: Manton, Michael & Ailikun
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Wetland Distribution and Functional Characterization: Trace Gases and the Hydrologic Cycle

Description: The IGBP Wetlands workshop (Santa Barbara, CA, USA,16-20 May 1996) was held for the purpose of identifying data and research needs for characterizing wetlands in terms of their role in biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. Wetlands cover only about 1% of the Earth's surface, yet are responsible for a much greater proportion of biogeochemical fluxes between the land surface, the atmosphere and hydrologic systems. They play a particularly important function in processing methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulphur as well as in sequestering carbon. Considerable progress has been made in the past 10 years regarding wetlands and methane: a global digital dataset of wetlands (Matthews and Fung 1987) was produced and global observations of methane have been combined with global three-dimensional atmospheric modelling (Fung et al. 1991) to constrain modelled fluxes of methane from high-latitude wetlands. Furthermore, significant advances have been made in understanding the biogeochemical processes that control fluxes of methane and other trace gases. The progress has made clear that present wetland classification schemes do not accurately reflect their roles in these processes because they have been based on wetland attributes such as dominant plant types which do not reflect differences in the functions of wetlands regarding biogeochemical cycles. Further, traditional wetland classifications cannot be distinguished on the basis of global remotely sensed observations. Consequently, it has been impossible to accurately quantify the distribution of key fluxes on the basis of observed land cover. The workshop developed a wetland parameterization scheme based on observable quantities to better incorporate wetlands into global land surface characterization schemes so that the relation between land cover and biogeochemical fluxes can be more accurately determined. An improved understanding of this relation will make it possible to better use observed or historical changes in land cover to infer changes in biogeochemical fluxes, including the cycles ...
Date: 1998
Creator: Sahagian, Dork & Melack, John
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC): Implementation Strategy

Description: The Implementation Strategy of the Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC) project specifies in greater detail the activities and projects that will fulfil the mandate outlined in the LUCC Science/Research Plan published in 1995. The project, a joint initiative of IGBP and IHDP, is addressing important global change questions on the local, regional and global scale. The planned and ongoing activities involve a wide community of natural and social scientists. The new understanding of land-use and land-cover change dynamics following from the work carried out under the LUCC Implementation Strategy will be of crucial importance to the global environmental change research community as well as to decision-makers at the local, regional and global levels.
Date: 1999
Creator: Scientific Steering Committee and International Project Office of LUCC
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

UGEC Viewpoints, No. 2, September 2009

Description: Urbanization is a global phenomenon that has transformed and continues to alter landscapes and the ways in which societies function and develop. For this issue of UGEC Viewpoints, the editors collected case-studies presented at the Open Meeting that span across regions and themes: from Australia and the United States, as well as the less developed nations in Africa, megacities of Asia such as Dhaka, Bangladesh and Delhi, India, vulnerable coastal areas of the Yucatan Peninsula, and the largest rainforest in the world, the Brazilian Amazon. Currently, more than half of the world's population lives in cities; the United Nations projects that by 2030 the world will advance to the 60% urbanization threshold. Rapid urbanization effects will not only be present within the immediate locations (cities and their metropolitan areas), but will be experienced regionally and globally. The UGEC project seeks to better understand these implications and the complex dynamic systems of urban areas that affect and are affected by global environmental change (e.g., climate change, natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, freshwater ecosystem decline, desertification, and land degradation). Several commonalities are readily identifiable in the authors' research, some of which include an attention to the roles of the governance structures within cities; the functioning of ecosystem services, water, food, and sanitation service provision; as well as the role of research in assisting the successful development of sustainable urban plans and policies.
Date: September 2009
Creator: Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Environmental Change and Human Health: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Description: It is widely, often intuitively, understood that human societies and the well being and health of their populations depend on the flow of materials, services and cultural enrichment from the natural world. Nevertheless, to date there has been little formal description and study of the relationships between global environmental changes and human health, and of the ways in which social institutions and processes modulate those relationships. For several human-induced global environmental changes, particularly changes to the world's climate system and to the ultraviolet radiation-filtering functions of the stratosphere, there has been a recent increase in research into the main health risks. But for most other global environmental changes little formal research on the risks to human health has been carried out. Indeed, among the practitioners of the various scientific disciplines engaged in studying the processes and impacts of global environmental changes - including environmental sciences, ecology, geography, economics, etc. - there has been relatively little recognition that ecosystem disruptions, species extinctions, degradation of food-producing systems, the perturbation of cycling of elements and nutrients, and the spread of cities pose risks to the well being and health of human populations. This science plan and implementation strategy proposes to address this gap in knowledge and research.
Date: 2006
Creator: Global Environmental Change and Human Health
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Global Water System Project: Science Framework and Implementation Activities

Description: Water plays a key role in the development and functioning of society by serving as a basic resource for activities such as irrigation, livestock production, fisheries, aquaculture, and hydroelectric power. Adequate water use in house-holds, businesses and manufacturing is a prerequisite of economic growth. Since many of the world's diseases are waterborne, we need clean water and sanitation for reducing the incidence of these diseases. And, most significantly, water provides habitat and sustenance for a rich diversity of plant and animal species that make up aquatic and riparian ecosystems, providing the basis for many of the goods and services received by society. Society is forcing unprecedented changes on global water resources through worldwide abstraction and pollution of water. Society also has a pervasive indirect impact because anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing long-term global changes in weather extremes and climate. Changes in the global water system are difficult to understand with simple cause-effect relationships because of the intense and complex linkages and feedbacks between different parts of the system. These changes and linkages also sometimes lead to abrupt changes in water systems such as the eutrophication of coastal aquatic systems, loss of biodiversity, the exceedance of safe water supply in urban areas, or intense competition between different water sectors for remaining water resources.
Date: February 2005
Creator: The Global Water System Project
Item Type: Text
Partner: UNT Libraries