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The new method will reveal valuable data that can be used in assessing ecosystems and anticipating how specific parts of the world will be affected by either short- or long-term climate changes. Their approach has been to identify the key climate factors that influence vegetation productivity over the course of a month and try to determine which regions are more responsive to climate change. He further mentions that over the last 14 years these areas have shown great sensitivity to climate variability, with amplified responses over time. Different areas of the world are more and less sensitive to climate change. Red colour shows higher ecosystem sensitivity, whereas green indicates lower ecosystem sensitivity. Now, researchers from the University of Bergen in Norway developed a metric to measure the climatic sensitivity of various ecosystems. The variables they looked at are temperature, water availability, and cloudiness among others. The researchers have developed a metric called the Vegetation Sensitivity Index, which presents in a quantifiable manner the impact of climate change and how fragile certain ecosystems are to temporary anomalies, such as a warmer month of June, a colder December or a cloudier September.In the study, the researchers have used satellite data from 2000 to 2013. The researchers then compare the variability in ecosystem productivity, which is obtained from satellite data. “Although the extent to which tropical ecosystems are now operating at their thermal limits remains uncertain”, the study said, “a number of studies have found decreases in tropical forest growth rates and productivity in response to warming, potentially the result of reductions of leaf gas exchange under warmer temperatures”. By using the VSI, they could analyze any anomalies that appear in the climate of a certain ecosystem and the impact that these unusual occurrences have on the ecosystem itself. According to Alistair Seddon, researcher at the University of Bergen, they discovered that certain areas were more ecologically sensitive than others, such as the Arctic tundra, the tropical rainforest, alpine regions, forests in South America, eastern parts of Australia and certain areas from the boreal forest belt. As per the researchers, such kind of information can prove high beneficial for national-scale ecosystem assessments. This is all based on the Vegetation Sensitivity Index (VSI), an index the researchers created as part of their study. “Even more interesting is that as satellite measurements continue and so as the datasets get longer, we will be able to recalculate our metric over longer time periods to investigate how and if ecosystem sensitivity to climate variability is changing over time”.

Origen: equilibrioinformativo

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