Focus 3 - Global Earth-System Dynamics

Structure of Focus 3, showing the Themes (green boxes) and Working Groups (grey text), and overlap with external programs (white boxes).

This focus looked at interactions between components of the Earth System (atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere) and the links between regional- and global-scale changes.

It hosted activities to synthesize records at the global scale, acting as a counterpart to the regional studies of Focus 2 and to the forcings addressed in Focus 1.

Working groups addressed global-scale Earth System changes and their underlying processes, including their response to changes in forcings, internal feedbacks and teleconnections.

Overarching questions

How do large-scale changes in the Earth System affect regional climatic and environmental conditions?

How have regions or Earth System components interacted to produce climate and environmental variations on a global scale?

What are the causes and thresholds of rapid transitions between quasi-stable climatic and environmental states, in particular on timescales that are relevant to society? How reversible are abrupt climate changes?


Although processes that, by definition, involve the whole Earth System are difficult to divide into packets, we considered the science of this focus under four themes:

1. Variability in the Hydrological Cycle

2. Rapid Climate Change

3. Interglacial Climate Variability

4. Paleoperspectives on Ocean Biogeochemistry

Working Groups


> Global Monsoon


> OC3

> PIGS (Past Interglacials)

> SynTraCE-21