MC1 was created to assess the potential impacts of global climate change on ecosystem structure and function. It is a dynamic vegetation model, meaning that it gives the user information about the processes (e.g. nutrient cycling, fire) that will influence vegetation responses to climate change. In this way, it is different from models that give a static snapshot of vegetation patterns under future climates.
Inputs include minimum and maximum monthly temperatures, monthly precipitation, monthly vapor pressure as well as soil characteristics including soil texture, soil depth, % rock fraction and bulk density.
Managers and the public can access a variety of maps that were created with MC1 results. Maps are available for many different variables, including changes in vegetation distribution in the U.S. and Canada under potential future climates, changes in streamflow, and much more.
Restrictions and Limitations:
Uncertainties exist in all models, and caution is needed when using outputs as a basis for management decisions. For MC1, there are potential uncertainties in the algorithms that are used in the model, and in the climate data used for future climate scenarios. These uncertainties could affect the interpretation of model results. Users are currently limited to using results that have already been created by experienced modelers or learning to run the model themselves. The first users meeting took place in January 2010 in Corvallis, OR.