Warmer springs lead to reduced plant growth in summer and autumn

Plants start growing earlier in the spring but contrary to popular belief, this results in considerably less photosynthesis throughout the following summer and autumn. This is shown in a study published by Nature from Wolfgang Buermann, Matthias Forkel, Andrew Richardson and colleagues.


Matthias Forkel is an environmental scientist who uses satellite observations to study how climate affects ecosystems and vice versa. Thereby Matthias develops and applies remote sensing methods, global ecosystem models, and machine learning approaches. He is a Junior-Professor for Environmental Remote Sensing at the Technical University Dresden, Germany.

Read about his research

Matthias Forkel


December 2019 | 2 new papers

We recently used multiple satellite datasets to improve simulations of a global vegetation model for fire in South America and global vegetation distribution, biomass, and carbon cycling.

November 2019 | Science trip England

Together with Tom Pugh at the University of Birmingham, we explored how machine learning could be used to understand drivers of tree mortality. At the opening of the new Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, I discussed how satellite observations can be used to better understand and model global wildfire dynamics.

October 2019 | Alumni talk at MPI-BGC

I'm happy to give an alumni talk at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena at 30. October. Title: "Earth observations to reappraise global vegetation-fire interactions"

September 2019 | Junior-Professor!

Since September 2019, I'm a Junior-Professor (with tenure track to full professorship) for Environmental Remote Sensing at the Technical University Dresden. Group website

In the media and outreach

Apr 2019 | Contribution to exhibition in museum

Oct 2018 | Media reports about our Nature study

Jul 2016 | Greening of the Earth

  • "Die Erde wird grĂ¼ner" Matthias was interviewed about the greening of the Earth: VDI Nachrichten and fluter.
The greening Earth. The maps shows changes in the greenness of land vegetation between 1982 and 2011 as observed by satellites. Source: M. Forkel


Matthias Forkel is father of two small children. We are a German-Czech family in Austria = Europe. We spend our free time in our garden, at playgrounds in Vienna, or in forests around Vienna, in eastern Czechia, in the Zittau mountains, in Germany, or somewhere else in Europe.

Matthias Forkel

Das Klima der Erde ...

... is a German website about basics of climatology for teachers and students. Matthias created and maintained the website until 2015.