Complexity revealed in the greening of the Arctic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


As the Arctic warms, vegetation is responding, and satellite measures indicate widespread greening at high latitudes. This ‘greening of the Arctic’ is among the world’s most important large-scale ecological responses to global climate change. However, a consensus is emerging that the underlying causes and future dynamics of so-called Arctic greening and browning trends are more complex, variable and inherently scale-dependent than previously thought. Here we summarize the complexities of observing and interpreting high-latitude greening to identify priorities for future research. Incorporating satellite and proximal remote sensing with in-situ data, while accounting for uncertainties and scale issues, will advance the study of past, present and future Arctic vegetation change.


  • Isla H. Myers-Smith
  • Jeffrey T. Kerby
  • Gareth K. Phoenix
  • Jarle W. Bjerke
  • Howard E. Epstein
  • Jakob J. Assmann
  • Christian John
  • Laia Andreu-Hayles
  • Sandra Angers-Blondin
  • Pieter S.A. Beck
  • Logan T. Berner
  • Uma S. Bhatt
  • Anne D. Bjorkman
  • Daan Blok
  • Anders Bryn
  • Casper T. Christiansen
  • J. Hans C. Cornelissen
  • Andrew M. Cunliffe
  • Sarah C. Elmendorf
  • Bruce C. Forbes
  • Scott J. Goetz
  • Robert D. Hollister
  • Rogier de Jong
  • Michael M. Loranty
  • Marc Macias-Fauria
  • Kadmiel Maseyk
  • Signe Normand
  • Johan Olofsson
  • Thomas C. Parker
  • Eric Post
  • Gabriela Schaepman-Strub
  • Frode Stordal
  • Patrick F. Sullivan
  • Haydn J.D. Thomas
  • Hans Tømmervik
  • Rachael Treharne
  • Craig E. Tweedie
  • Donald A. Walker
  • Martin Wilmking
  • Sonja Wipf
External organisations
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Sheffield
  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
  • University of Virginia
  • Aarhus University
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Hauge)
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Lapland
  • Grand Valley State University
  • University of Zurich
  • Colgate University
  • University of Oxford
  • Open University
  • Umeå University
  • University of Stirling
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Greifswald
  • WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
  • European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra
  • NORCE Norwegian Research Centre
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Climate Research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 31
Publication categoryResearch