A team has developed a model to determine the influences of humans and climate on vegetation changes. Valerie Smock explains what has the greatest effect. The weather is very similar to the government in that rules are made and decisions can be swayed one way or the other. The climate governs the seasonal activity of vegetation and humankind influences it. An interdisciplinary team has now found a way to explain 90 percent of changes in vegetation around the world. Researchers have seen vegetation activity increase in the Northern Hemisphere, yet there was a decline in the Southern Hemisphere. The question that remained on all of the researchers' minds was why.
"The majority of the changes – more than 30 percent overall – were caused by human activity," explains Rogier de Jong, a postdoctoral student at the University of Zurich's Remote Sensing Laboratories. “Vegetation activity primarily declined south of the Sahel region, such as in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and in the Congo.”
Researchers said they assumed the cause was due to clear cutting, the transformation of rainforest into plantations or changes in agriculture in general. More than 30 percent of the changes were caused by human activity. Around 10 percent cannot be explained, but researchers believe it may be an effect from the interaction between humans and the climate.
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A potent line of thunderstorms will sweep across the Northeast into Saturday night with damaging winds, hail and downpours.
Soaking rain and locally severe thunderstorms will take aim at the eastern United States around the middle of next week.
A large part of South America will be treated to a "ring of fire" solar eclipse on Sunday, but only if the weather cooperates.
After record-shattering warmth baked the mid-Atlantic and Northeast to end the past week, much colder air is set to make a comeback later this weekend.
A widespread outbreak of severe weather is threatening a large portion of the Midwest.
Flooding created chaos for hundreds in California this week, while a deadly wind storm slammed the United Kingdom.
A line of severe thunderstorms will march across the northeastern United States into Saturday night with the potential for flash flooding, damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes.
Polar air will continue to blast the United Kingdom throughout March, making it feel like an extended winter for the British Isles.