Human-driven climate change is responsible for more than half the changes detected in the world’s vegetation, recently published studies show, while human activities account directly for about another third, reports Alex Kirby at the Climate News Network. The amount of vegetation in the world, and the way it is spread across the planet, has changed significantly in the last three decades, say the researchers, a team of geographers from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and colleagues from the Netherlands. While vegetation has increased in the northern hemisphere, it has declined south of the Equator, especially south of the Sahel, in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and other parts of central Africa. It has only recently become possible to quantify how far climate variability, human activity or a combination of the two are responsible for what is happening, with satellites recording how vegetation has altered during those decades. In the humid mid-latitudes, temperature is the largest factor influencing plant growth; in mainly dry areas, it is availability of water, and in high latitudes, the amount of solar radiation. And everywhere humans influence vegetation in myriad ways – and are influenced by it.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/04/climate-alters-global-vegetation/ Climate alters global vegetation.