Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

Sign Change Ahead

Planetary-scale changes in the Earth system are referred to as Global Change.

Global Change

The Earth is currently facing a dramatic human-induced global change, such as land use intensification, disruption of the carbon, water and nutrient cycles, climate change, ecosystem degradation, habitat fragmentation and species extinction. Gaining insight into how the terrestrial system (including terrestrial freshwater) influences and responds to such global changes is the core of our work.

Key challenges

The terrestrial part of our world is a vital component in global processes and global sustainability.

Key challenges are:

  • the role of terrestrial vegetation in the interactions between the carbon, water and nutrient cycles
  • non-linear changes critical transitions and tipping points in ecosystems and climate
  • shifting to sustainable land use and sustainable freshwater management
  • mitigating the risks of and adapting to climate change

Interactions between global changes and ecosystem processes

It is our mission to understand interactions between global changes and ecosystem processes, for sustainability of ecosystem services to humans.  We use an experimental and dynamic system approach, linking human impacts to biotic and abiotic processes across scales.

Multidisciplinary research and teaching

The Environmental Sciences Group is a multidisciplinary research and teaching group with researchers from backgrounds like biology, hydrology, physical geography, energy science, mathematical modelling and philosophy.

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Gaining insight into how the terrestrial system influences and responds to such global changes is the core of our work

Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development