New map of global vegetation shows massive changes to Earth’s ecosystem in last three decades - NEWS SENTRY


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New map of global vegetation shows massive changes to Earth’s ecosystem in last three decades

climate change

Seeing the rapidly changing climatic conditions on Earth, scientists have created a new system that can map large-scale vegetation formation enabling scientists to monitor the effect of climate change.
Biomes are very large ecological areas on the earth’s surface, with fauna and flora (animals and plants) adapting to their environment.  A biome is NOT an ecosystem, although in a way it can look like a massive ecosystem.
The newly developed system uses satellites to map the biomes and observe the vegetation and effect of temperature and soil moisture on the vegetation. After monitoring, scientists have divided world’s vegetation into 24 types of biomes.
Although, there are several world maps to monitor Earth and climate change but scientists wanted to examine how vegetation change is affecting climate and vice versa.
For the study, a team of scientists from the University of Otago in New Zealand created maps of biomes and monitored the climate change. It was found that biome changed by nearly 13 percent in the last three decades.
“This suggests that substantial shifts in the character of the Earth’s surface are under way. Examples include swathes of Nambia and north-central Australia transitioning into drier biome categories and large expanses of cold limited systems shifting to more productive categories,” said Professor Steven Higgins from the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Higgins further added that humans have driven such changes on a global level. Establishing such correlations are crucial to monitor the changing climate and biome shifts. These quantities also help us in understanding the ecosystem dynamics and how it might respond to a specific change.
Scientists say that the model could provide essential data to future studies. “Our system provides an objective way to classify the land surface, which is important not only for monitoring change but also for comparing the behaviour of ecosystems in different parts of the world,” said Higgins.

No comments:

Post a Comment