Global climate models and ‘dynamic’ vegetation changes


Professor A. Henderson-Sellers. Fax +61 2850 9671, E-mail:


Models of global change must come to incorporate changes in terrestrial vegetation. Here we choose a 1- year meshing (coupling) period to link a global climate model to a well-known biophysical representation of the continental surface by means of eleven vegetation functional types. This coupled model is used to answer two questions: Can a ‘standard’ GCM ‘cope' with sudden switches in continental characteristics?’ and Does the climate ‘care’ about the changing underlying vegetation? We find affirmative answers to both questions. Our results also suggest that those content to generate vegetation post facto from climate output have incomplete results.