The boreal of Minnesota could look like Kansas if CO2 emissions remain ‘business as usual’
This story was originally published by Yale Environment 360 and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
A sign hanging above the door of a giant open-top glass chamber in a remote part of Minnesota’s Marcell Experimental Forest explains why so many scientists from around the world have worked hard to get a piece of this boreal woodland. “Welcome to the Future” the sign reads, and that is literally what researchers get when they come to do research at Marcell.
The experiment — a collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory — features 10 open-top glass chambers. Each is 30 feet high, 40 feet in diameter, and designed — by controlling temperature and CO2 levels — to mimic what will happen to boreal peatlands under various global warming scenarios. They range from no change to a very realistic increase of 4 degrees F, to 7 degrees F, and even to a frightening 12 degrees F and higher.
The Marcell Experimental Forest was established in 1962 to investigate the ecology and hydrol... Read more