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Climate change

Terrestrial ecosystem inertia

Some components of the climate system continue to adjust long after atmospheric greenhouse-gas levels have stopped changing. A coupled climate–vegetation model shows that forests can be committed to die-back or expansion before change is observed.

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Figure 1: Climate and ecosystem change commitments.

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Plattner, GK. Terrestrial ecosystem inertia. Nature Geosci 2, 467–468 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo570

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