Satellites help scientists determine areas sensitive to climate change

Satellites help scientists determine areas sensitive to climate change


US: A team of scientists, using global satellites, have identified areas with vegetation most susceptible to fluctuations to climate. The scientists have recognized some of the most sensitive land ecosystems when are prone to climate change. In the same regards, a research paper was published in the journal called Nature on Wednesday identifying the areas.

The research named the prairie regions of central Asia and North America as the most sensitive. Similarly, the rain-forests in Central America and South America are also at risk from climate changes. Lastly, the area of eastern Australia was also found to be sensitive. The research was carried out at the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen (UiB).

The research claims the identified areas have vegetation that responded most to climate fluctuations. Dr. Kathy Willis is the director of science at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens. According to Willis, the approach they have used to map the areas is relatively new. The new approach will enable them to identify the most vulnerable natural capital stocks provided by vegetation.

The map is an effort to help scientists better visualizes how climate change may impact the future. Seddon also commented they have this global picture which can guide the next areas of research. Ecosystems will likely face multiple dimensions of climate change in the future. To come up with the map, researchers used satellite data from 2000 to 2013.

The map was developed using data from the past 14 years. They examined how various ecosystems responded to monthly changes in climate over time. The data was then used to devise an index, called Vegetation Sensitivity Index. The Vegetation Sensitivity Index (VSI) will aid previous methods for monitoring and evaluating ecosystem conditions.

Source: I4U