Environmental research is a multifaceted research arena covering a range of different disciplines and methodologies. Despite this multidisciplinary challenge, we identify three common and unifying tasks:
1. To estimate accurately the ongoing environmental changes
2. To understand the causal relationship between environmental change and anthropogenic drivers
3. To assess the consequences of environmental changes on the society, and how these consequences can be mitigated or how the society can adapt to these changes
To solve task 1, there is a need for monitoring programs that are able to measure changes using robust sampling designs, and that focus on variables describing the main causal pathways.
To solve task 2, environmental changes must be linked to anthropogenic drivers through the formulation and estimation of alternative causal hypotheses and models.
To solve task 3, there is a need for cross-disciplinary approaches. AMINOR aims at establishing and communicating systematic and cost-effective strategies for solving societal challenges.
Relevant data series on environmental conditions and anthropogenic drivers are fundamental to solve environmental research questions. The relevance and quality of the research depend on whether the data series are adequately targeted with respect to the research and/or management questions addressed, and are sampled in a way that make it possible to obtain robust estimates. An integration of data monitoring, environmental research and the implementation of management actions are therefore crucial for a scientifically sound environmental management.