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Ecosystems: modelling the Earth: Track 1

Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio

How can numerical models help us to understand our planet? How do we make sure they represent reality? This album introduces ongoing work to model the entire planet's ecosystems, simulating the complex physical, chemical and biological interactions taking place between every living organism and climatic activity. Since everything is interconnected, Earth systems modelling can help our understanding of how the Earth's processes affect each other. For example, by increasing the rate of decay of leaf litter in North American forests, scientists can investigate the effect on global temperatures. The acid test is to see how well the model reflects reality, by comparing the model's predictions against real-world data. This material forms part of The Open University course S396 Ecosystems.

By: The iTunes U team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 15 mins
  • Updated Wednesday 20th January 2010
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Across the Sciences
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Track 1: Ecosystems: modelling the Earth

A short introduction to this album.


© The Open University 2010


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Ecosystems: modelling the Earth    A short introduction to this album. Play now Ecosystems: modelling the Earth
2 Using a model    How models can be used to predict the Earth's climate patterns. Play now Using a model
3 The acid test    The limitations of models; how to measure model error. Play now The acid test