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Modelling the effect of land degradation on climate


3 modelling plug-ins (Face Generator Plug-in, Hairsyler Plug-in, Head Integrator Plug-in):

These three plug-ins form a complete software suite for facial modelling. This product line allows modelling of a complete head, including definition of a textured face model, combination of the face model with a hair model, and inclusion of various supplemental elements (eyes, inner mouth, neck and shoulders).

2 Animation plug-ins (The Expression and Visemes Generator plug-in, The Head Animator plug-in):

The Expression and Visemes Generator plug-in provides for automatic generation of deformation/displacement maps corresponding to the set of the eight most common emotional expressions, the set of visemes and a face with closed eyelids.The Head Animator plug-in facilitates the definition of highly realistic facial animations for a complete head model, defined as the combination of a face, a hairstyle, neck and shoulders.
The Mediterranean region has experienced drastic changes in land use and climate in the last century. Some of these changes are still occurring.
Modelling studies have shown that rainfall in particular may be strongly related to antecedent soil moisture and that the land surface plays a critical role in determining size and location of the rain events. Critical is how a long term drought will exacerbate or extend the aridity of a region.
This study will focus on the climatic effects of land degradation in the Mediterranean and the Sahel, the latter area already subject to severe land degradation. A combination of GCM and Regional scale modelling will be used to better understand the climate response to land degradation and will try to assess the uncertainty involved in current climate forecast as well as the relative role of the ocean versus the land surface in forcing the climate.
Datasets from the series of land surface experiments in semi-arid areas (EFEDA, HAPEX-Sahel) will be used to calibrate, improve and test the models.


- to understand the climatic responses associated with land cover ' change ' in semi-arid regions, particularly land surface degradation, and thus the causes of persistent drought.
- to understand the relative influences of Sea surface temperature anomalies and land cover change on likely climate variability in the Mediterranean and the Sahel.
- investigate the influence of scale and degree of degradation on the climatic response.


Three of the major Global Climate Models in Europe (and one from the USA) plus two Regional Climate Models will be used. To intercompare the results from these models the land surface schemes will be calibrated and tested with common sets of land surface data from the EFEDA and HAPEX-Sahel field experiments. Also common land cover classifications and desertification scenarios will be developed. Model integrations will be made using sea surface temperature patterns from extreme wet and dry years. Questions of scale will be tackled, firstly, by simulating effect in the Sahel (continental scale) and the Iberian Peninsula (regional scale), secondly, by investigating partial desertification and, finally, by using regional and global climate models.

The project will increase our understanding of the climate system, improve climate models, provide a better understanding of climate variability and develop the scientific foundation for rational management of land resources in parts of Europe threatened by desertification.

Call for proposal

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