Ecosystems

As fragile ecosystems across the globe face increased demand for agricultural land and natural resources, they become ever more vulnerable to the consequences –economic, societal and environmental– of changing climate patterns.

Our changing global climate has resulted in variable temperatures and precipitation patterns. For many places around the world that rely on environmental factors for agriculture, ecosystem-based economies, or water systems, variable climate, where temperatures have increased while precipitation has decreased, has resulted in particularly severe challenges to not only the ecosystems themselves, but the populations that rely on them.

Natural ecosystems have always faced a level of pressure from neighboring populations. Recent shifts in population size and distribution, however, have resulted in high levels of stress on increasingly fragile ecosystems as growing societies shift agricultural practices, expand urban extents, and develop coping strategies in response to their changing climate. As humans have altered the composition and conditions of many ecosystems, new sensitivities to shifts in climate have emerged, presenting challenges to biodiversity, to local economies and food security, and to availability of resources.

We use Earth Science technology to improve the quality of life in our world, especially the economic livelihood opportunities of the world's most vulnerable populations and the sustainable use of the natural resources of our planet. Our work is divided in six main program areas- Climate Adaptation, Climate Mitigation, Ecosystems, Natural Resources, Poverty & Livelihoods and Climate Services.