International Research Collaboration of the Water Systems and Globale Change Group

The WSG CALM group, through many of its current members, has been well imbedded in European and global research networks, programmes and projects.

We have been significantly contributing to setting the international research agenda of several Global Change and Earth System Partnership programmes. Prof Kabat, for example, has been a Chair of International Science Steering Committes of several key programmes under the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Currently he is chairing, jointly with Prof Andrea from Max Planck Institute in Mainz, the International Science Steering Committee of the IGBP ILEAPS programme (, and is a member of the Science Committee of the entire IGBP programme. A predecessor of this programme was IGBP BAHC- Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle, chaired by Prof Kabat in the period of 1994-2003. This international programme which concluded by synthesis publications in 2004, has made a major contribution to international field of climate and Earth System science by putting forward a strong notion of a key importance of land and vegetation processes for the functioning of the Earth and its climate.

The ESS CALM group has been successful and very well imbedded in EU funded research. During the last 10 years, key ESS group members participated in over 20 EU supported projects in the area of global change, carbon cycle, water cycle and climate (in 9 of these as overall co-ordinator / PI). Currently the group is involved in 9 EU funded research IP's (Integrated Projects), with largest efforts concentrated around a cluster of CARBO Europe (sub)projects, and around a cluster of EU funded projects dealing with global change, climate adaptation and water cycle (ADAM, WATCH, SCENES, AQUASTRESS, NEWATER).

Since 1995 until present, the ESS CALM group has been acting as overall research programme co-ordinator of European contribution to the Large Scale Biosphere – Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA). LBA is the largest single global change project, jointly supported by USA, Brazil, EU, and 11 European countries. LBA involves ~ 400 researchers with total funding of  90 million US$ over 1996-2008. Twelve LBA projects over 1994-2006 have been initiated by European-Brazilian network of research institutions. Within the LBA programme, ESS CALM group is also taking responsibility for several PhD students (e.g. Celso von Randow).

The ESS CALM group has many other international collaborative activities and projects which took  place over 2001-2006, e.g. within the IPCC, MEA frameworks and on individual basis. For example, Mr. Ter Maat spent couple of months in Yokohama, Japan where we collaborate in regional climate-land feedbacks modeling and make use of the Japanese Earth Simulator facilities. Frequents mutual collaborative visits are made between our staff and European key institutions operating under the CARBO and FLUXNET projects, but also to NASA, Japan (Frontier Research Programme), USA (Colorado State University- Prof Pielke’s group, Princeton – the group of prof Wood, Universities of Washington and New Hampshire – the  groups of Profs. Lettenmeier and Vorosmarty), and Brazil (INPE and Sao Paulo University, groups of Dr C. Nobre and Dr M. Assuncao Diaz).

International initiatives

The Environmental Sciences Group of Wageningen University & Research (Wageningen UR), and the Earth System Science Climate Change group in particular, have significantly enhanced their range of activities with partners in Bangladesh over the last two years. The portfolio of activities focuses on linking climate change, water and food security.


[1] P. Kabat, M. Claussen,  P. Diemeyer, J. Gash, L. Bravo Guenni, M. Meybeck, R. Pielke Sr., Ch. Vorosmarty, R. Hutjes and S. Lutkemeier,  2004.“Vegetation, Water, Humans and the Climate:A New Perspective on an Interactive System ; Springer Verlag; 566 p