The second meeting of the International Council of Scientific Unions Special Committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program took place in Cambridge, Mass., February 8–11, 1988. The meeting confirmed the four underlying themes of IGBP already identified:

  • documenting and predicting global change
  • observing a n d improving our understanding of dominant forcing functions
  • improving our understanding of transient phenomena
  • assessing the effects of global change that would cause large-scale and important modifications affecting the availabilty of renewable and nonrenewable resources

It also considered preliminary reports from the Coordinating Panels set up to oversee the different research projects being developed:

  • Terrestrial Biosphere-Atmospheric Chemistry Interactions (Chairman P. J. Crutzen)
  • Marine Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions (Chairman T. Nemoto)
  • Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle (Chairman S. Dyck)
  • Effects of Climate Change on Terrestrial Ecosystems (Chairman B. H. Walker) and from the working groups established to assess the current state of knowledge and future prospects on
  • Global Geosphere-Biosphere Modelling (Chairman B. Bolin)
  • Data and Information Systems (Chairman S. I. Rasool)
  • Techniques for Extracting Environmental Data of the Past (Chairman H. Oeschger)
  • Geo-Biosphere Observatories (Chairman R. Herrera)