Earth system studies

At about the same time that climate was starting to become an issue of international politics, the scientific discourse was widened to refer not only to climate change but to global change. There was increasing interest in understanding the global system dynamics across a range of spatial scales and range of disciplines. For this purpose, ICSU created the International Global Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) in 1996 and the smaller social science counterpart the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP). This became a starting point for international scientific collaborations that have later played a key role in emphasizing Earth as a system and that this system is in a state of change. In addition to the growing intergovernmental cooperation focusing on global climate change, there is thus a push from a non-governmental scientific organization for a global framing of environmental issues, a framing that started taking hold in connection with the International Geophysical Year 1957/8 but became more and more explicitly connected to environmental problems and often framed as global change.140

138 Linnér and Jacob, "From Stockholm to Kyoto and Beyond," 406.

139 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Article 2.

140 Steffen, et al., Challenges of a Changing Earth.

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