Washington (MOL): Climate science has been transformed by huge computer simulations that can predict changes in lands, oceans and atmospheres. Now researchers are hoping they can do the same for ecology by creating an ambitious model that simulates entire ecosystems, anywhere in the world. Researchers at Microsoft and the UN are hoping the model could provide a better understanding of how the planet’s fragile ecosystems fit together.

 Dubbed the Madingley model, the simulation captures the growth, migration and lives of creatures as their food chain. Ecologists have spent the past two years developing the simulation which uses real data on changes in, for instance, animal migration.