Global change conference sets the scene for next round of Kyoto Protocol talks

April 09, 2001

Throughout the world, scientists are seeing clear signs that the Earth is rapidly changing. Tropical glaciers are melting fast and some will disappear within 15 years if current warming trends continue. Fifty percent of the land surface has been modified and more than half the world's accessible freshwater is being used directly or indirectly by humans. These and many other changes are putting stress on the global environment.

But do we know enough about the functioning of our home planet to know how much stress it can take?

A major conference in Amsterdam, Challenges of a Changing Earth, from 10-13 July will bring together global change researchers from all over the world to present the latest understanding of the Earth system. It will examine the effects on our societies and lives, and explore what the future may hold. Journalists are encouraged to participate in the conference.

The Kyoto Protocol talks have recently been scheduled to continue in Bonn on July 16, just two days after the global change conference in Amsterdam.

"Challenges of a Changing Earth will provide the scientific basis needed to understand the complexities of the Kyoto Protocol and will appropriately define the global carbon debate within a dynamic Earth System and human context," said Professor Berrien Moore, Chair of the Science Committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, a co-sponsor of the conference.

"It will be an extraordinary opportunity for journalists to expand their grasp of the science behind global change and to have access to a wide array of ground-breaking and newsworthy research," he said.

The conference is being organised by IGBP together with its global change partners, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme for Global Environmental Change (IHDP). A second media alert with more information will be issued in May.
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Background on the conference can be found in NewsLetter No. 44. Also visit the conference web site www.sciconf.igbp.kva.se for up to date information.

The IGBP contact for media is Dr Susannah Eliott, Phone +46 8 6739 556, Fax: +46 8 16 64 48; Email: Susannah@igbp.kva.se; Mobile phone: +46 708 346 463.

International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme

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