MAIRS, Monsoon Asia Integrated Research for Sustainability Study, is a regional consortium for the integrated study of social and earth system processes in the Asia Monsoon Region. Research projects and Working Groups are the primary producers of research results. It is one of the core projects under the framework of Future Earth. Different from other monsoon research projects, MAIRS will not address the monsoon climate itself, but focus on human monsoon system interaction. It attempts to understand to what extent the human activities modulate the Asia monsoon climate and how the changed monsoon climate will impact further the social and economic development of Asia. MAIRS will also study to what extent societies can adapt to such impacts or mitigate them through regulating policies, law and institutions in order to achieve the sustainable development.The MAIRS consortium is guided by a Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and supported by an International Program Office (IPO) to reach its objectives effectively and efficiently. The conceptual framework for the MAIRS program is as following:
The vision of MAIRS is to significantly advance understanding of the interactions between the human-natural components of the overall environment in the monsoon Asian region and implication of global earth system, in order to support the strategies for sustainable development.
MAIRS aims to promote integrated regional studies across monsoon Asia, in order to answer science questions on:
- The resilience of the monsoon system to human activities.
- The vulnerability of human societies to environmental change.
- To promote collaboration across disciplines and regions.
- To enhance scientific capacity across the region.
Lead questions for research
1. Is the Asian monsoon system resilient to this human transformation of land, water and air?
2. Are societies in the region becoming more, or less, vulnerable to changes in the Asian monsoon
3. What are the likely consequences of changes in the monsoon Asia region on the global climate system?
4. There are six cross-cutting issues of environmental change: water, energy, food security, air quality and health, natural disasters and biodiversity. These key issues are important in many areas but have different aspects and relative importance in different geographic zones.To answer the lead questions about key issues in an integrated manner, we propose four research themes:
- Rapid transformation of land and marine resources in coastal Zones.
- Multiple stresses on ecosystems and biophysical resources in high Mountain Zones.
- Vulnerability of ecosystems in Semi-arid Zones due to changing climate and land use.
- Changes in resource use and emissions due to rapid urbanization in Urban Zones.