Global Change, defined as the global impact of local human activities of any kind on the functioning of the biosphere, is driven by a common force: the growth of the human population coupled with increased use of resources (energy, water, land, biodiversity, chemicals and key elements). Global impacts of local activities arise from transport processes in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and oceans, leading to climate change, desertification, soil erosion, water scarcity, eutrophication, hypoxia, ocean acidification, pollution and loss of biodiversity.

The contribution of science is essential to meet this challenge. Scientific research will contribute to better understanding, anticipating and ultimately managing the risks posed by global change, through adaptation and mitigation measures. Research on global change requires an important transdisciplinary component, as well as a critical mass.

The Balearic Islands are especially vulnerable to Global Change due to (a) the fact of their insularity; (b) the strong dependence of its economy and social fabric on tourism, a sector that is especially vulnerable to Global Change; (c) the particular vulnerability of the Mediterranean area, in particular its archipelagos, to climate change, with faster warming rates and drought intensity than any other area in the world, except the Arctic.