Computer model simulates Earth’s ecosystem

The first computer model to simulate the interaction of organisms on Earth has been designed by a team of researchers led by Micahel Harfoot at the Computational Science Lab, Cambridge.

The Madingley Model applies a set of ecological concepts and processes based on the fundamental principles of life on Earth. The team first simulated continents, oceans and a global climate, and then populated it with digital organisms.

Currently, the model can predict types of organisms expected in certain environments but not the actual species.

The team hopes that it will eventually be able to simulate precise situations, demonstrating the ecological consequences of possible changes to the Earth’s ecosystem such as the extinction of top predators or the transformation of land into a monoculture through agriculture.

Read more at Computational Science Laboratory, Cambridge