Going to great heights to study the impact of climate change on biodiversity

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Ensia

Across the world, a web of researchers is stitching together millions of data points to present a story of how tropical ecosystems are faring in a changing world.

The Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network connects 16 sites across Africa, Asia and Latin America and helps researchers standardize and share data on biodiversity, land cover change, climate and ecosystem services in tropical forests.

According to the project website, “The TEAM Network is collecting data to help us understand the impact of climate change on ecosystem health,” with a particular focus on how plants and animals are responding to environmental changes.

The video here, produced by documentary filmmakers Benjamin Drummond and Sara Steele, features Christine Fletcher, TEAM site manager in the Pasoh Forest Reserve in Malaysia, who must conquer her fear of heights by scaling 138 feet (42 meters) of scaffolding above the forest floor to collect climate data.

Fletcher’s hope is that the TEAM data will ultimately be used to inform and influence decision makers in Malaysia and other parts of the world where ecosystems are rapidly changing.

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