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    Climate Change Meeting Jan 7th 10 am Ely Senior Center

    Hi folks

    Our next Climate Change meeting will be January 7th at 10 am at the Ely Senior Center. Our visitor Randy Kolka from Grand Rapids is also speaking at Tuesday group. Randy will tell us about the projects underway at the USFS station near Grand Rapids. One of these experiments is named SPRUCE “Spruce and Peatland Responses under Changing Environments”. Randy is the lead scientist. You can see some images of this huge experiment here:

    I took this text from that same website

    Seeing the Future

    Researchers experiment with climate change in a northern peatland.   by Amanda Kueper

    “Welcome to a warmer future,” reads the sign above the door to the strange translucent cylinder towering in the middle of a Minnesota peat bog.

    Inside the 26-foot-high, open-roof chamber, dozens of high-tech instruments with names like dendrometer, phenology camera, and mini-rhizotron are collecting information on the plants, soil, water, and air within the 1,000-square-foot patch of damp bog. A warm breeze streams steadily from an air duct, and underground heaters radiate warmth into the soggy earth, keeping the chamber a toasty 16 degrees warmer than the surrounding forest peatland.

    “Things have bloomed in here four to six weeks earlier. The blueberries were ripe three weeks before” berries outside the chamber, says Stephen Sebestyen, a hydrologist for the U.S. Forest Service who’s giving visitors a tour. “I mean, look at this,” he says, gesturing toward a small bog rosemary plant with swelling buds, ready to flower. “They’re not doing that within the ambients”—by which he means unheated chambers—”or outside.”

    There are 10 chambers like this one nestled within the Marcell Experimental Forest, a 2,800-acre piece of the Chippewa National Forest north of Grand Rapids. They are part of a “whole ecosystem warming experiment” called SPRUCE—Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments.

    The goal of the SPRUCE project is to help understand how climate change will affect Minnesota’s vast stretches of northern forest peatlands—expansive wetlands that are home to millions of spruce and tamarack trees, dense carpets of moss, and a huge variety of birds and other wildlife.

    Randy has offered to host a tour of the site for those of us who are interested. I assume this would be in the spring or summer. Come talk with him and find out the details!


    Hope to see you on Tuesday



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