Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics, IGBP

Project Description
GLOBEC (Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics) is one of the core projects of the
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and was initiated by SCOR
and the IOC of UNESCO in 1991, to understand how global change will affect the
abundance, diversity and productivity of marine populations comprising a major
component of oceanic ecosystems.

The aim of GLOBEC is to advance our understanding of the structure and
functioning of the global ocean ecosystem, its major subsystems, and its
response to physical forcing so that a capability can be developed to forecast
the responses of the marine ecosystem to global change.

GLOBEC considers global change in the broad sense, encompassing the gradual
processes of climate change and its impacts on marine systems, as well as those
shorter-term changes resulting from anthropogenic pressures, such as population
growth in coastal areas, increased pollution, overfishing, changing fishing
practices and changing human use of the seas.

GLOBEC has four primary objectives:

1) To better understand how multiscale physical environmental processes force
large-scale changes in marine ecosystems.
2) To determine the relationships between structure and dynamics in a variety
of oceanic systems which typify significant components of the global ocean
ecosystem, with emphasis on trophodynamic pathways, their variability and the
role of nutrition quality in the food web.
3) To determine the impacts of global change on stock dynamics using coupled
physical, biological and chemical models linked to appropriate observation
systems and to develop the capability to predict future impacts.
4) To determine how changing marine ecosystems will affect the global earth
system by identifying and quantifying feedback mechanisms.

GLOBEC Homepage:

A listing of all GLOBEC National and Regional Programmes can be found at

[This information was adapted from the GLOBEC web pages.]