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New models predict drastically greener Arctic in coming decades


PhysOrg

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This set of images shows the observed distribution of Arctic vegetation (left) in relation to the predicted distribution of vegetation under a climate warming scenario for the 2050s (right). Data used to generate the observed image are from the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (2003). Credit: AMNH/R. Pearson
New research predicts that rising temperatures will lead to a massive "greening," or increase in plant cover, in the Arctic. In a paper published on March 31 in Nature Climate Change, scientists reveal new models projecting that wooded areas in the Arctic could increase by as much as 50 percent over the next few decades. The researchers also show that this dramatic greening will accelerate climate warming at a rate greater than previously expected.

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