Vegetation Alters Climate by up to 30 percent

Vegetation Alters Climate by up to 30 percent
Highlights

A new Columbia Engineering study, led by Pierre Gentine, associate professor of earth and environmental engineering, analyzes global satellite observations and shows that vegetation alters climate and weather patterns by as much as 30 percent

A new Columbia Engineering study, led by Pierre Gentine, associate professor of earth and environmental engineering, analyzes global satellite observations and shows that vegetation alters climate and weather patterns by as much as 30 percent.

Using a new approach, the researchers found that feedbacks between the atmosphere and vegetation (terrestrial biosphere) can be quite strong, explaining up to 30 percent of variability in precipitation and surface radiation. The paper, published May 29 in Nature Geoscience, is the first to look at biosphere-atmosphere interactions using purely observational data and

could greatly improve weather and climate predictions critical to crop management, food security, water supplies, droughts, and heat waves.“By more accurately observing and modeling the feedbacks between photosynthesis and the atmosphere, as we did in our paper, we should be able to improve climate forecasts on longer timescales,” Gentine says.

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