Science Goals for Research on Changes in Land Cover and in Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems
- Observe and document the trends and geographic and temporal patterns of change in global land cover.
- Understand the processes, both natural and human-induced, that lead to changes in land cover, land use, and ecosystem health, including those resulting in deforestation, desertification, and loss of global resources, such as biological diversity and reductions in productivity of farms and fisheries.
- Predict the likelihood of significant changes in the extent, vitality, and diversity of global resource systems in relation to local, regional, and global economic development.
- Understand the processes that regulate ocean uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- Predict changes in the structure of phytoplankton (microscopic plants) communities - which form the base of the food chain in the ocean - and understand their links with higher species (e.g., fish, invertebrates, marine mammals).
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Last updated 04/10/96