New model simulates ecosystems across the whole planet

By on May 6, 2014
NASA satellite mosaic of Earth (Credit: NASA)

NASA satellite mosaic of Earth (Credit: NASA)

A new mathematical model simulates life on Earth, allowing scientists to predict the outcomes of various hypothetical interactions between organisms, New Scientist reported.

Named after the village of its origin in Cambridgeshire, UK, the Madingley model is the first computer model capable of simulating biological interactions on a global scale. Rather than relying on excessive data collection, the Madingley model follows the same rules as all of Earth’s organisms.

The model could help scientists determine the Earth’s fate in scenarios such as a bee die-off, or if humans had never developed intensive farming. Although the Madingley does not yet simulate specific species, it is capable of simulating types of animals, such as warm- and cold-blooded creatures, and carnivores and herbivores of a many different sizes.

Image: NASA satellite mosaic of Earth (Credit: NASA)


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