2020 may be finally coming to an end, but the challenges we had to face this year, continue – the COVID 19 pandemic, intensifying political division, widening economic inequality and the climate crisis, to name but a few. However, in 2020 we also saw people around the world come together to not only help their friends and community members, but people they may never meet or know. This shines a bright light even in darkest of times. As we continued to address climate change and to build a climate resilient world, we were blown away by all our inspiring meetings, all the implementation of ideas and the new start-ups that were founded that will continually enhance our work.

Speaking of our work: We would like to give you a first glimpse of the next ENVI-met 4.6 release. The next generation MiPS 3 (Microscale Plant System) will finally be introduced: MiPS will bring new 3D trees with an explicit description of branches, leaves and crown geometry, which will not only generate more realistic trees, but will also be the foundation of the new TreePass. The new TreePass introduces a dynamic wind damage risk assessment for urban trees and additionally its radiative transfer scheme for vegetation has vastly been improved to calculate the extinction of diffuse radiation now also in the canopy. The Raycasting model IVS (Indexed View Sphere) for high-resolution modelling of reflections and thermal radiation, allows a detailed description even of multiple reflections in complex environments.

We also improved its algorithm substantially, so that IVS now almost runs as fast as the standard radiation scheme.

So, the update will include many new interesting and exciting features. So, although we faced many challenges in 2020 – the year that felt like a decade – has also inspired many innovations and we are excited and hopeful to see what 2021 has in store for us all.

We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year!