The expansion of global change research has opened a Pandora’s box of data requirements of increasingly diverse parameters. Initially, environmen­ tal monitoring was confined to the condition of the biosphere with little regard to the overarching agents of change. As we improve our understand­ ing of the interactions of the various processes involved, so too does our identification of the key factors lying at the heart of global change. The everbroadening remit of global change demands an increasing number of disciplines to be employed to fully describe it.