Climate, ecosystems, and planetary futures: The challenge to predict life in Earth system models

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, eaam8328
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8328

Integrating the biosphere into climate models

High-quality climate predictions are crucial for understanding the impacts of different greenhouse gas emission scenarios and for mitigating and adapting to the resulting climatic changes. Bonan and Doney review advances in Earth system models that include the terrestrial and marine biosphere. Such models capture interactions between physical and biological aspects of the Earth system. This provides insight into climate impacts of societal importance, such as altered crop yields, wildfire risk, and water availability. Further research is needed to better understand model uncertainties, some of which may be unavoidable, and to better translate observations into abstract model representations.

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