Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Grafton County, between Plymouth and Lincoln, is a research gem, the site of long-term ecology studies and, most famously, the place where acid rain was discovered (as I noted in this column back in May, which included the fact that they hold a barn dance because what else do you do in the woods all summer).
The 12-square-mile forest is home to a bunch of different long-term research projects run by around 20 principal investigators at any given time. One of those investigations is seeing what will happen to northern forests in a warming world, and its being done by actually warming their world: heating 6,000 square feet of the forest via underground cables, year after year.
There’s a good story, with video and text, by Motherboard, right here. Among the depressing conclusions (this is climate change research, so it has to be depressing):
In Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, the trees don’t filter as much carbon dioxide and nitrogen as they should. Meanwhile, less winter snowpack actually leads to cooler winter temperatures, which in turn disrupt tree roots, keeping them from absorbing nitrogen from the soil. That nitrogen then flows into local waterways, threatening them with toxic levels.