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Complexity revealed in the greening of the Arctic

Journal article
Authors Isla H. Myers-Smith
Jeffrey T. Kerby
Gareth K. Phoenix
Jarle W. Bjerke
Howard E. Epstein
Jakob J. Assmann
Christian John
Laia Andreu-Hayles
Sandra Angers-Blondin
Pieter S.A. Beck
Logan T. Berner
Uma S. Bhatt
Anne Bjorkman
Daan Blok
Anders Bryn
Casper T. Christiansen
J. Hans C. Cornelissen
Andrew M. Cunliffe
Sarah C. Elmendorf
Bruce C. Forbes
Scott J. Goetz
Robert D. Hollister
Rogier de Jong
Michael M. Loranty
Marc Macias-Fauria
Kadmiel Maseyk
Signe Normand
Johan Olofsson
Thomas C. Parker
Frans Jan W. Parmentier
Eric Post
Gabriela Schaepman-Strub
Frode Stordal
Patrick F. Sullivan
Haydn J.D. Thomas
Hans Tømmervik
Rachael Treharne
Craig E. Tweedie
Donald A. Walker
Martin Wilmking
Sonja Wipf
Published in Nature Climate Change
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 106-117
ISSN 1758678X
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 106-117
Language en
Subject categories Terrestrial ecology, Botany, Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography


As the Arctic warms, vegetation is responding, and satellite measures indicate widespread greening at high latitudes. This ‘greening of the Arctic’ is among the world’s most important large-scale ecological responses to global climate change. However, a consensus is emerging that the underlying causes and future dynamics of so-called Arctic greening and browning trends are more complex, variable and inherently scale-dependent than previously thought. Here we summarize the complexities of observing and interpreting high-latitude greening to identify priorities for future research. Incorporating satellite and proximal remote sensing with in-situ data, while accounting for uncertainties and scale issues, will advance the study of past, present and future Arctic vegetation change.

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