The region of Monsoon Asia covers South, Southeast and East Asia . It is a region where the major features of landscape, such as vegetation, soil and water system developed in a monsoon climate. The monsoon rainfall is the main water resource of the region. But the high variability of monsoon climate causes a high frequency of climate related disasters, such as the floods, drought and heat waves which often bring about great damage to the region. At the same time, Monsoon Asia is a region with the most active human development. It has a history of more than 5000 years civilization. It also has the  highest population density of the world. It also had the most rapid development in last decades and plans to continue rapid development incoming century. Therefore the human activities of the monsoon Asia region have and will have significant impacts on the environmental conditions, not only regionally but also globally.


The concept of an integrated Asian monsoon system was originally proposed by Asian scientists (e.g. Fu, 1996). From the earth system science point of view, the Asia monsoon system is a coupled physical/biological/chemical/social system (Fu, 1998, 2000). The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study was proposed by Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) and became the first IRS project under its leadership in 2003. The first planning meeting of Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study was held in Bangkok in March of 2003 when the acronym of MAIRS was coined.


College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering Peking University
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E-mail: mairs-fe@mairs-fe.org