National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



Published in Global and Planetary Change 56 (2007).


The Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI) is a rapidly growing program that involves national government agencies, academia and private organizations in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Northern Eurasia. During the last decade the Northern Eurasian region have been undergoing socioeconomic, climatic and demographic changes. The causes of these changes, the associated interactions between the land surface, the atmosphere and the surrounding ocean and the resultant impact on the sustainability of land use of the region are important topics for scientific research. The NEESPI Science Plan has been prepared as an integrated regional study to better understand these hemispheric-scale interactions, to evaluate the combined role of climate and anthropogenic impacts on the Northern Eurasia ecosystems, and to assess how future human actions would affect the global climate and ecosystems of the region. Projections of the consequence of global changes on the regional environment, the economy and the quality of life in Northern Eurasia that is of primary importance to the nations in the region is an additional focus of this initiative. The NASA Land-Cover/Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Program has supported NEESPI since its inception, and currently funds 26 NEESPI projects. Several other NASA programs are also currently supporting or planning to support the NEESPI. The NEESPI program links to the major international programs under the Earth System Science Partnership (IGBP, IHDP, DIVERSITAS and WCRP) and under the Global Terrestrial Observing System, such as the Global Observation of Forest Cover/Global Observation of Landcover Dynamics (GOFC/GOLD). A number of the NEESPI science activities are aligned with the Global Earth System of Systems (GEOSS) objectives, giving an emphasis to societal benefits, so that the NEESPI framework can serve as a regional test bed for international cooperation in developing a system of observational systems. Since it is a new program, most of the NEESPI research projects have just started. Therefore, rather than describing these projects this paper focuses on presenting some results of the longer term projects which are being continued under NEESPI, and on the expected products from the program and its future directions. More information on the projects can be found at or