Greening seems to have increased during the 1980s and 1990s in the northern hemisphere from the arctic regions down to the 35th parallel of latitude (roughly southern Europe). This has been shown by measurements from space satellites. Some observers, however, have doubted the reliability of these measurements. In the latest issue of Science, a research team from the Institute for Climatic Impacts Research in Potsdam, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, and Lund University presents new findings that support the satellite observations.
The research team has fed in the current values for temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, cloud cover, and carbon dioxide content during the period 1982-1998 in a model for vegetation growth. It is called the LPJ Model and was developed at Lund by Colin Prentice, Stephen Sitch, and Ben Smith. Of the three, the former two are now in Jena, whereas ecologist Benjamin Smith is associated with the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis at Lund University in Sweden.
Vegetation has been measured from space using AVHRR, Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometry. This is a spectroscopic method that can register when light reflects from the surface of green leaves.
Göran Frankel | alphagalileo
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