MERGE - a strategic research area on climate modelling
MERGE deals with modelling the regional and global Climate/Earth System, with focus on vegetation and terrestrial ecosystems. It was set up in 2008 as a Strategic Research Area, in the wake of the Swedish research policy bill of 2007. MERGE covers advanced research, disciplinary and interdisciplinary research studies, and dialogue with the wider society on scientific knowledge and research needs. MERGE is organised around five themes that collectively underpin a cohesive interdisciplinary research environment. The common goal is to increase knowledge about climate, in particular the atmosphere, the land surface, vegetation and the ecosystems.
The climate we have today is affected by the interplay between all these elements, and the same links are important during climate change as well. Changes in temperature and precipitation affect land-based ecosystems, and these changes in the ecosystems then in turn affect climate change via physical and biological feedbacks that are important in the Climate/Earth System. In addition, land use and land use change comprise a part of anthropogenic effect on the climate. Results of climate models that include these links, show the importance of taking these links into consideration when developing climate scenarios and climate effect studies.