Updated: Mar 22
Age 25, They / Them | Ontario, Canada
"I want people to change what they are doing because we as humans are severely damaging planet Earth. Even though changing to a better way takes more time, energy, and money, I think that we should still try to create a better world."
Climate simulations incorporating 11 different vegetation models were carried out. The warm conditions in the springtime led to earlier and more vigorous vegetation growth, which meant there was more carbon uptake at this time. The warm spring’s effect on overall productivity varied in different regions. Central Europe has arable land and pastures. There, the rapid growth in the spring reduced the water content of the soil. This made the ecosystem more vulnerable to drought in the summer.
Scandinavia is covered in forests. There, the earlier growth in the spring was balanced out by the lack of growth in the summer. This is because trees have deeper roots that can reach water further underground and they can control how much they transpire by closing the stomata in their leaves. The study suggests that monitoring vegetation growth in the spring could indicate the possibility of summer drought. Also, managing the land differently could reduce the effects of drought. The environmental impacts are quite important, especially since the number of spring heatwaves and summer droughts will increase due to global warming. In some ecosystems, climate change might not affect certain ecosystems, but in others, it can make a hugely negative impact.
I was surprised by how impactful different types of vegetation were on productivity rates. I found it rather alarming that productivity was decreasing in some ecosystems. I was also alarmed at how humans’ use of land for agricultural purposes contributed to this. I think this problem can encourage us to make more environmentally-friendly changes in how we live our lives and also to invest more money into pursuing solutions to global warming. This reminds me that the world is connected and the choices made by one country affects the entire biosphere.