A new project will help scientists to look many decades ahead and predict the effectiveness of land management practices to mitigate climate change. “Our aim is to study how agricultural and forestry practices that provide food and timber can alter climate by modifying the energy, water, and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Assistant Professor Quinn Thomas, who is leading the $2.6 million, five-year project funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Uncertainty in climate prediction can be substantial when considering the chaotic nature of the atmosphere and the challenges of predicting future human behavior, as well as the influence of land-use and land-cover change on carbon and energy cycles. The project will use field data to better understand key ecological processes and integrate these findings into a state-of-the-art Earth system model that contributes to the goals of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Project partners include Professor Thomas Fox, University Distinguished Professor Harold Burkhart, and forestry doctoral student Benjamin Ahlswede from Virginia Tech as well as colleagues from Cornell University, Purdue University, and the University of New Hampshire.

Read the full press release.