Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future
The Science Plan for the International Ocean Discovery Program, Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future, is intended to guide multidisciplinary international collaboration on scientific ocean drilling during the period 2013-2023. It was crafted on behalf of earth, ocean, atmospheric, and life scientists at the request of science funding agencies from 24 nations, representing approximately 75% of the world's economy.
All parts of the Earth system are linked through flows of mass, energy, and life. Buried beneath the ocean floor are records of millions of years of Earth's climatic, biological, chemical, and geological history. Scientific ocean drilling allows researchers to access these records and explore, analyze, theorize, and test models that address how our planet works on local-to-global spatial scales and on decadal-to-millennial time scales. IODP advances understanding of Earth's past to be able to better understand and predict its future, and can inform decision-making about some of the most important environmental issues facing society today. IODP also builds intellectual capacity through the promotion of international collaboration, education, and training.