Impact of deforestation on climate change
SEI has constructed a model to explore the future of the global carbon cycle. The model is designed to make predictions over the next few decades only, and to provide qualitative outputs. It focuses only on the terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere and their interactions (the ocean and sediments are ignored), which seems reasonable given the short time scale of the model runs.
The model determines the flows (fluxes) of carbon among atmosphere, vegetation and soils via photosynthesis, respiration, burning of vegetation, and fossil fuel usage. The flux rates are controlled by various parameters that SEI researchers are still exploring in their project 'the breathing forest'.
The model was developed by Dr. Mathew Williams, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh and software and website by Howard Cambridge, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York. This project was funded by the UK NERC.