What an artificially heated forest in New Hampshire tells us about climate change

This segment originally aired Oct. 14, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO. 

This is what a forest could look like in 100 years as average temperatures rise. VICE News correspondent Arielle Duhaime-Ross traveled to Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Grafton County, New Hampshire, to talk to a group of scientists trying to simulate the effects of climate change on forests.

The researchers buried more than two miles of heated cables just four inches below the soil and then documented the changes that happened from the newly introduced heat. “The idea is that we’re manipulating the climate across the entire year and looking at how the forest responds,” Pamela Templer, a biogeoscientist at Boston University, said.

Templer and her colleagues found that in higher temperatures trees weren’t able to filter as much carbon dioxide and nitrogen as they would otherwise. This could mean dangerously high levels of nitrogen in the atmosphere and in our water systems.

Through her experiment simulating a warmer world, Templer hopes to help bolster future climate modeling with hard data.


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