For ten years, scientists in the Netherlands have used research software to study the seasons. The software has been developed by the Netherlands eScience Center, the world’s first national centre of excellence for research software, to meet the specialised needs of the research community, with computing infrastructure provided by SURF, the national research and education network for the Netherlands.
“As we are approaching fall, plants are losing their leaves. In spring, we will see them bloom. The science that studies these cyclical biological events is called phenology. The timing of these occurrences varies from place to place and from year to year, depending on the environmental conditions”, explains Raúl Zurita Milla, a professor of Spatio-temporal analytics at the University of Twente and pioneering user of eScience Center research software.
“Seeing how the green wave changes over time, gives us insight into the impact of climate change. It also has a practical agricultural application: farmers may need to plant at different times or use different varieties. And, as you can imagine, it would be a disaster if there was a temporal mismatch between blooming and pollinating insects, or between the arrival of spring and the timing of the last frost.”
Submitted by Morten Anderson