June 21, 2012: Experiment simulates future climate

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 8:26am
Ingo Ensminger
The Time Machine Experiment – A field experiment simulating future climate to understand how conifers will respond climate change

View of the new experimental warming array

View of the new experimental warming array at the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Joker's Hill (Photograph by Ingo Ensminger)

Ingo Ensminger and his group have established a new experiment at the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill (follow this link to our liveview webcam). In this experiment, air temperature is manipulated to simulate future warmer climate. Their infrastructure is capable of elevating air temperature while all other environmental factors remain unchanged. This is achieved through a temperature free-air controlled enhancement (T-FACE) experiment. Using infrared heaters controlled by a sensor network, air temperature is elevated in experimental plots during daytime by 1.5°C and by 3°C during nighttime compared to ambient temperature in their unheated control plots. In the current experiment Ensminger and his co-workers study the effect of local adaptation in different genotypes of white pine seedlings on phenology, growth and survival of this economically important tree species in a future warmer climate.

White pine seedlings in an unheated control plot

White pine seedlings in an unheated control plot (Photograph by Ingo Ensminger)