Integrated Land Ecosystem - Atmosphere Processes Study

The land-atmosphere interface is where humans primarily operate. Humans modify the land surface in many ways that influence the fluxes of energy and trace gases between land and atmosphere. Their emissions change the chemical composition of the atmosphere and anthropogenic aerosols change the radiative balance of the globe directly by scattering sunlight back to space and indirectly by changing the properties of clouds. Feedback loops among all these processes, land, the atmosphere, and biogeochemical cycles of nutrients and trace gases extend the human influence even further. iLEAPS (integrated Land Ecosystem – Atmosphere Processes Study), a core project of IGBP, is the land-atmosphere component of the Earth System Science Partnership, focussing on the basic biogeochemical processes that link land-atmosphere exchange, climate, the water cycle and tropospheric chemistry (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. The land-atmosphere-society processes under global change that are the focus of iLEAPS.