A possible cause was always obvious: weather station records from the North have reported a steady warming (by about 0.4 degree per decade), which is now generally attributed to the increasing greenhouse effect. Warming in the North might be expected to produce "greening". However, it was not trivial to connect the weather station data to the satellite data to find out whether there was a quantitative correlation between the two trends. Although computer-based numerical models of the physical climate have been used for three decades to analyze the possible consequences of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, comparable global models of ecosystem dynamics are a much more recent development.
Now, a major activity of the Global Ecology research group at MPI-BGC, under the leadership of Prof. Colin Prentice, is the ongoing development of a leading global terrestrial ecosystem model. The model is called LPJ, after the three research groups (led by Prof. Colin Prentice at MPI-BGC, Prof. Wolfgang Cramer at PIK; and Prof. Martin Sykes at Lund University) that participate in the model development consortium. The basic idea of the model is to integrate current knowledge in separate fields (plant physiology and biophysics, terrestrial ecology and hydrology), to simulate the interaction of processes with different time constants (minutes to years), and to use all possible sources of information
Contact: I.Colin Prentice