IGBP Workshop 13 on Mathematical and Statistical Modelling of Global Change Processes


As part of the special year in Applications and Numerical Solutions of Partial Differential Equations, the Centre for Mathematical Analysis at the Australian National University hosted the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) Workshop 13 on Mathematical and Statistical Modelling of Global Change Processes.  This workshop, sponsored jointly by the National Committees for the IGBP and Mathematics and the Centre for Mathematical Analysis, was one in a series of workshops with the aim of providing informed guidance for Government policy makers to assist in deciding which IGBP related mathematical research activities should be supported over the next decade.  These activities would constitute part of Australia’s contributions to the IGBP research.

Workshop 13 focussed specifically on the mathematical and statistical aspects of the modelling of global change processes.  Accordingly, the objectives of the workshop were, first, to identify those mathematical and statistical problems whose solution would significantly advance present research, and second, to stimulate interaction between different scientific groups supporting the IGBP initiatives in Australia.  The Workshop was a resounding success on both these counts.  UP to 60 scientists and students from various disciplines attended the one week meeting.  Besides the formally presented talks, several study group sessions discussed problems of mutual interest.  These included study groups on matching different scales, generic models and inverse problems.  In addition, a special session on important problems associated with the global carbon budget was held.  Notes from this session appear in this Proceedings.  It was during these lively study group discussions that the main targets for future IGBP research were identified.

This volume is divided into two parts.  Part 1 consists of papers presented at a seminar session aimed at describing current Australian contributions to modelling of global change.  In this regard, it touches upon many aspects of Geosphere-Biosphere modelling.  Part II is a collection of invited papers on selected topics of importance to global modelling.

The success of the IGBP Workshop 13 could not have been possible without the untiring work and support of many people.  WE wish to thank first of all, Professor Neil Trudinger, The Director of the Centre for Mathematical Analysis, for the support of the Centre, it’s staff and facilities.  In particular the organizational skills of Marilyn Gray and the expert preparation of these proceedings by Jill Smith and Joyce Heinze, were indispensable.  Thanks also goes to Ian Enting for organizing the special session on the carbon budget.  Next we would like to thank the sponsoring National Committees for the IGBP and Mathematics as well as the Workshop 13 Organizing Committee.  Finally, many thanks should go to the participants themselves who shared with each other, for a week at least, their most nagging scientific problems, so that a true picture of the needed research could emerge.