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The growing human population with increasing resource use per capita is causing an alarming loss and degradation of ecosystems. In order to balance the increasing human needs for food and resources with the healthy functioning of ecosystems, decision makers require robust and transparent global forecasts of the response of ecosystems to future changes in human activities.
Working jointly with the Computational Ecology and Ecosystem Science group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC's Science Unit is developing a global biosphere model that captures the ecological processes shaping biological communities. The vision is to develop a model that is:
As such the model has more in common with state-of-the-art physical models of the earth system than with previous models of the biosphere.
Since 2010, a team of three post-doctoral researchers began developing the global biosphere model, kick started in January with a workshop that brought together world experts on ecological modelling.
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