Process-based Modelling of Global Ecosystem Function: The Madingley Model

An expanding population, with expanding resource use per capita, is resulting in an alarming loss and degradation of ecosystems, the economic consequences of which could potentially dwarf those of the recent worldwide economic crisis. In order to balance the need for increased food, timber and textiles production, with industrial use of natural resources, and the healthy functioning of natural, semi-natural and artificial ecosystems, we require predictive, global models of the response of ecosystems to various human activities.

CEES is working with the United Nations Environment Programme, World Conservation and Monitoring Centre ( UNEP-WCMC ) to develop such a model. By combining different strands of ecological theory – from the behaviour of individual animals and plants, through communities and foodwebs, to ecosystem function and biogeochemistry – we aim to produce a novel model that is useful both for guiding policy in the near term, and for guiding environmental and conservation research in the longer term. Moreover, we aim to provide others with the software tools needed to build such models. In this way, we hope to trigger the development of a number of (healthily) competing models of global ecosystem function.

 

People

 Jorn Scharlemann, Senior Scientist, UNEP-WCMC

 Drew Purves, Head, CEES, Microsoft Research

 Vassily Lyutsarev, Senior RSDE, CEES, Microsoft Research

 Tim Newbold, Postdoctoral Scientist, UNEP-WCMC and Microsoft Research

 Derek Tittensor, Postdoctoral Scientist, UNEP-WCMC and Microsoft Research

 Mike Harfoot, Postdoctoral Scientist, UNEP-WCMC and Microsoft Research