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Climate Wildfires


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

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