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Old hay and Alpine ibex horns reveal how grasslands respond to climate change
Date:12/9/2009

mperatures rose and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increased. Based on these results the TUM scientists have now, for the first time ever, managed to demonstrate the long-term effects of anthropogenic climate change on the water-use efficiency of grasslands.

There were, however, also differences between the two locations. In Switzerland the effective water-use efficiency of the Alpine meadows remained unchanged in spite of the increased intrinsic water-use efficiency of the grassland. This was because, overall, the air had become drier and warmer as a result of the climate change. In England the scientists found evidence for this effect only during the fall. In the spring though which in Rothamsted is no drier today than it was 150 years ago the water storage potential of grassland vegetation had a real effect. This insight will help to further improve climate simulations. In the past, complex simulation models that included vegetation had to rely on estimates where grassland was concerned. The scientists at the TU Muenchen have now succeeded in prying open this climate research black box.


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Contact: Jana Bodicky
bodicky@zv.tum.de
49-816-171-5403
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

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