Global environmental change is rapidly altering the dynamics of terrestrial vegetation, with consequences for the functioning of the Earth system and provision of ecosystem services1, 2. Yet how global vegetation is responding to the changing environment is not well established. Here we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009.

China has tremendous climatic and ecological diversity, so the impacts of climate change on natural and managed systems might likewise be expected to be diverse. Yet so far systematic studies have been rare. Here, the impacts of historical and future climate change on water resources and agriculture in China are assessed.

This paper analyses the terrestrial carbon balance of China during the 1980s and 1990s using biomass and soil carbon inventories extrapolated by satellite greenness measurements, ecosystem models and atmospheric inversions.