Scientists create Cyberforests to study impact of climate change on real forests

Q.  What are cyberforests?
- Published on 29 Feb 16

a. Computer simulations of 3D forests
b. Simulation to study impact of climate related changes like droughts on forests
c. Using computing power to create 3D representations of forests to simulate what will happen to them in the future
d. All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
Scientists have created cyberforests or computer simulations that grow realistic 3D forests right down to branches, leaves and roots of individual trees. This is to see how climate related changes like drought and wildfires impact real forests. Model called LES uses computing power to grow drought and shade tolerant trees which can be scaled to actual forest size. This is the only forest growing simulator that comes up with intricate root systems and canopy structures for every tree while previous forest simulators could only grow one or another. Researchers used a blend of data from US Department of Agriculture’s Forest and Inventory Analysis Programme and other forestry database alongside aerial reconnaissance from UAV or drones for customising models to certain forests.

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