Global change

Global change

2.12. PAKISTAN A MEMBER OF INMARSAV’ The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has become the 43rd country to join the International Maritime Satellite Organi...

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The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has become the 43rd country to join the International Maritime Satellite Organization (Inmarsat). The Pakistan Telegraph and Telephone Department has been nominated to represent Pakistan in Inmarsat as its country’s Signatory organization. Inmarsat is the international co-operative organization that provides satellite communications facilities to the world’s shipping and offshore industries. Funded by its member countries through their respective Signatories, Inmarsat is commercially orientated, earning revenues from the sale of its services on a non-profit-making basis. With satellite capacity in orbit over the world’s three major ocean regions, it provides high-quality, reliable, global service for about 3200 ships, oil rigs and other vessels now equipped with ship earth stations. For futher information, please contact: Gavin Trevitt or Stephanie Collins, Inmarsat Press and Public Relations Office, t-44 1 387 9089.


A meeting of the Ad hoc Planning Group on Global Change was held at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, on 24 February 1985. The Planning Group suggested the following outline as a conceptual framework for the possible programme with a strong stress on the inte~ctions between the different domains: “The central focus of the Global Change study would be to describe and to understand the interactive physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the Earths unique environment for life, the changes that are occurring in this system, and the manner in which they are influenced by human actions: Particular attention was drawn to the two, comparatively recent, developments that made a global change programme more feasible: (1) the possibilities of global surveillance using satellites and other remote sensing techniques; (2) the use of computers with large storage capacities that make possible storage, analysis and transmission of large amounts of data and the creation of models of different global systems and of their coupling. With regard to the question of remote sensing, an outline for a programme was presented by the Chairman of the COSPAR Ad hoc Group on Remote (‘“JExtract from Inmarsat New Release No. 85/4 of 22 February 1985 c”)Extract from ICSU Newsletter No. 2 I, March 1985.


Sensing for Global Change for the production of long-term consistent validated data sets, of studies of the methodologies required to fill the gaps and of the new technologies that would be needed. A list of some of the parameters to be measured consistently, globally and quantitatively over years/decades was submitted for the Planning Group’s consideration. This is in the process of revision and completion by the COSPAR Group. In relation to the problems of global surveillance several members of the Group emphasized the problems of scale, both spatial and temporal, and of moving from one scale to another. Attention was drawn to the ICSU-SCOPE Intecol Workshop that will take place in October 1985 in the USA, which will be concerned with Spatial and Temporal Variability in relation to Biogeochemical Cycles. The need was emphasized to bring together the various members of the ICSU family(lX) so as to ensure adequate contacts between the remote sensing community and the communities concerned with processes at and below the surface of the Earth in order to explain better the processes involved in the evolution of the Earth and the various “spheres” and their interactions. In particular the Chairman and several other members of the Group stressed the importance of bringing in the world community of biologists, and especially biologists with a global outlook. Attention was drawn to the importance of trying to understand the effects of man’s actions and to try to predict the consequences of man’s activities, for example in changing complex ecosystems into monocultures. With regard to historical changes it was considered essential to have a record of changes that have taken place in the course of the last 10 000 years and if possible to cover the last glaciation and the pre-glaciation period. It was agreed that it would be necessary to have a certain number of workshops, in the period leading up to the 21st General Assembly, to clarify some of the problems. A number of possibilities were considered. Although the Group was aware of the dangers of too long a planning period it was agreed that the preliminary feasibility study phase would probably need to last until the 22nd General Assembly in 1988 with approval of the conceptual framework by the 21st General Assembly in 1986. Further thought would have to be given to the funding, the key people to be invited to workshops, the level of staffing required and communication with other international and with national bodies concerning the development of the programme proposal. The next meeting of the Group will be held in Munich on 5 and 6 October 1985.

c”‘It is interesting to note that the Danish National Committee for ICSU is planning meeting to discuss Global Change. Other meetings on this subject have been organized National Academy of Sciences and the USSR Academy of Sciences.

a one-day by the US