For more than 10 years’ time, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) has been working on an international networking basis to lead and promote a coordinated research approach with regards to the global carbon cycle for Earth’s sustainability. The initial actions were taken in 2001 to form a common knowledge base and activities that will decrease the growing rate of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The Global Carbon Project is a shared partnership between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and Diversitas. This partnership stands for the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP). The scientific goal of the project is to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including both its biophysical and human dimensions together with the interactions and feedbacks between them. The implementation strategy of the Global Carbon Project is organised around three science themes, focusing on the activities which are
the main research areas that the will develop over the life of the project. The main themes are:
- Patterns and Variability: Exploring the current geographical and temporal distributions of the major pools and fluxes in the global carbon cycle. It seeks to promote greater model-data fusion and increased harmonisation of regional and sectorial carbon budgets to ensure comparability amongst regions.
- Processes and Interactions: Identifying the control and feedback mechanisms that determine the dynamics of the carbon cycle (both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic). Emphasis is placed on vulnerable carbon pools and processes that could impact the most atmospheric CO2 growth and climate change.
- Carbon Management: Foreseeing the likely dynamics of the carbon-climate-human system into the future, and what points of intervention and windows of opportunity exist for human societies to manage this system.Importance is placed on the carbon consequences of regional development pathways and impacts on the whole earth system in light of the trade-offs and synergies between changes in carbon stocks and fluxes.
Earth System Science Partnership: 10 years of advancing knowledge on the Global Carbon Cycle and its Management