|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (June 2013)|
|PAGES - Past Global Changes|
The PAGES - Past Global Changes project is an international effort to coordinate and promote past global change research. Its primary objective is to improve our understanding of past changes in the Earth system in order to improve projections of future climate and environment, and inform strategies for sustainability.
PAGES' scope of interest includes the physical climate system, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem processes, biodiversity, and human dimensions on different time scales - Pleistocene, Holocene, last millennium and the recent past.
PAGES fosters and supports international and interdisciplinary collaborations and promotes the involvement of scientists from developing countries in the global paleo-community discourse. Over 5,500 people from more than 125 countries currently subscribe to PAGES and hundreds are actively involved in its working groups. All interested scientists are encouraged to get involved and contribute to PAGES' initiatives, participate in PAGES-supported workshops and publish PAGES-relevant products. PAGES also organizes travel stipends for Guest Scientists.
PAGES' science structure (the triangle in the centre of the circle) defines the scientific scope of its activities and addresses the key components of the Earth system through the themes climate, environment, and humans. PAGES itself is not a research institution. Research activities are not prescribed by PAGES committees nor by the International Project Office (IPO). Rather, it responds to 'bottom-up' initiatives that arise from the community. It is also involved in a number of collaborations with its parent organization and partners.
The agreed-upon PAGES' vision is implemented primarily through community-devised working groups. Integrative activities bring together working group members and researchers from the broader environment to collaborate on specific issues.
PAGES is therefore a service-oriented project that works to promote integrative research activities and support the international paleoscience community through fostering collaboration and communication, and ensuring access to and dissemination of results, data, and other relevant information. In addition, capacity building, education and outreach are an integral part of PAGES' philosophy.
PAGES is a core project of Future Earth and is funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is a scientific partner of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It was a core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) from its inception until December 2015.
PAGES is overseen by a Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) whose members are chosen to be representative of the major techniques, disciplines and geographic regions that contribute to paleoscience. Under the direction of the SSC, the staff at the small International Project Office (IPO) in Bern, Switzerland, carry out the day-to-day running of the PAGES program.
PAGES aims to engage relevant stakeholders in its activities at a number of levels. The aim to increase stakeholder engagement is a critical goal of its parent organization, Future Earth, as it works to ensure knowledge is generated in partnership with society and the users of science.
Mission, objectives, and philosophy
PAGES facilitates activities that address past changes in the Earth system in a quantitative and process-oriented way in order to improve predictions of future climate and environment, and inform strategies for sustainability.
PAGES main areas of focus include:
- Facilitating international research activities on past environmental changes
- Promoting the synthesis of scientific knowledge and data
- Strengthening the involvement of scientists from developing countries
- Integrating the paleoscience and wider global environmental change communities
- Disseminating important research findings and organizational information
- Supporting scientific training and education
- Integrating scientific evidence from observations and modeling
- Ensuring public access to paleoscientific data
- Enhancing the visibility and use of paleoresearch
Several research activities, involving groups of scientists with common interests, are incorporated within PAGES. Its programs and workshops are designed to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines and countries. It also provides a forum for scientists to discuss and interpret ice, ocean, and terrestrial paleoclimate records and modeling results, and fosters the development of internationally accessible data archives.
PAGES aims to create synergies by overcoming boundaries that have historically existed between different:
1. Approaches: Reconstruction, data analysis and numerical modeling
2. Spheres: Land, ocean, ice and atmosphere
3. Timescales: Paleoscience, modern processes and future projections
4. Resource levels: Developed and developing country scientists
Scientific structure and implementation
PAGES' science structure addresses the key components of the Earth system through the themes climate, environment, and humans.
These themes define PAGES' scientific scope and reflect a holistic Earth system science approach. This structure was developed through an open process including discussion at PAGES' Open Science Meeting in 2013 and through extensive consultation with the community. Through this science structure PAGES aims to provide targeted paleoscience results for sustainability research while at the same time retaining its recognized expertise in integrative paleoscience research.
Climate: represents quantitative climate system dynamics from a paleo-perspective.
Environment: addresses components of the biosphere that interact with each other and climate and may introduce feedbacks into the Earth system.
Humans: covers long-term environmental changes where humans are a major agent and where environmental changes have a demonstrable effect on the functioning of both ecosystem services and societies.
The center of the triangle holds cross-topical integrative activities, particularly suited to collaboration with Future Earth and WCRP. At present, four integrative activities have been identified: Data stewardship, Warm worlds, Thresholds, and Extreme events.
PAGES' science structure is implemented through the following initiatives:
PAGES Working Groups: Temporary groups that bring scientists together from around the globe to target specific aspects of PAGES' science. Working groups (currently active or in synthesis stage) as well as the integrative activities are mapped on to the science structure. Each working group has its own webpage on the PAGES website. The past global change community are continuously encouraged to propose new working groups, particularly in areas where the science structure is under-populated.
Integrative activities: Cross-topical research areas that have the potential to provide transformative advances in approaches to paleoscience with actionable results relevant to broader impacts.
Collaborations: Activities in which PAGES collaborates with other organizations and contributes a paleo-perspective.
Endorsed and affiliated groups: Externally managed groups whose aims directly correlate with the PAGES scientific agenda.
Community and getting involved
The PAGES community consists of over 5500 scientists from more than 125 countries. All scientists are encouraged to initiate groups under PAGES' science structure, participate in PAGES workshops, and contribute to PAGES products. You can find out more about the resources and opportunities PAGES offers on the My PAGES page.
Here is a quick overview:
- Join up to the mailing list of a working group you are interested in to get its updates
- Create a profile in the People Database and subscribe to get Past Global Changes Magazine and other updates
- Explore PAGES' global community via the People Database
- Participate in PAGES-supported workshops
- Apply for financial support to organize a meeting relevant to PAGES' science
- Email your meeting details to go in the PAGES calendar
- Contribute an article to Past Global Changes Magazine - PAGES' main publication, a free paleoscience magazine published 2 to 3 times a year
- Search for and advertise a relevant job vacancy on the Jobs page
- Apply to become a PAGES Scientific Steering Committee member
- Work at the PAGES office as a guest scientist
- Propose a new PAGES Working Group
- Apply for PAGES endorsement or affiliation for your group
- List of external resources on the subject of past global changes
- Visit our YouTube Channel: PAGES - Past Global Changes
- Like us on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
Scientific Steering Committee
PAGES activities are overseen by an international Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) appointed by Future Earth. The members, who each serve for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms, are chosen so as to obtain a balance of scientific expertise and national representation. The SSC meets once a year to guide and oversee the program as a whole.
Executive Committee: Five members of the SSC also serve on an Executive Committee (EXCOM), which is in more regular contact with the International Project Office. The five member EXCOM is co-chaired by a US and Swiss SSC member by virtue of the fact that these countries provide the bulk of PAGES' core funding.
Who can apply to become an SSC member? Any interested individual can apply to become a PAGES SSC member. Calls for applications are made on a regular basis. The applications are considered by the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the SSC at their biannual meetings, in consultation with the entire SSC. During the assessment process not only is the EXCOM looking for scientific excellence and a high level of commitment to PAGES goals, but also to achieve a balance across the SSC in expertise, nationalities, gender, and career stage. Selected candidates are then recommended to Future Earth for final approval.
International Project Office
Under the direction of the SSC, the staff at the small International Project Office (IPO) in Bern, Switzerland, carry out the day-to-day running of the PAGES project. Their activities include maintaining the PAGES website and databases, organizing meetings and workshops, editing and writing PAGES publications, and serving as liaison to other global change programs. The IPO regularly hosts paleoscientists from around the world as Guest Scientists for both short- and long-term sabbatical visits.
The PAGES community has achieved many advances and made many contributions to past global change knowledge over the decades that PAGES has been running. The most significant syntheses, articles, and products emerging from PAGES groups are listed here in the PAGES Products Database.