Scientists Create Ice Storm to Study Effect on Forests (Video)

 Charles Driscoll

December 14, 2016

To better understand the short- and long-term effects of ice storms on northern forests, a team of scientists, including Professor Charles T. Driscoll, generated an experimental ice storm on research plots on the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. The National Science Foundation released the following video documenting the chilly experiment.

Extreme weather events will be more common as the effects of climate change take hold. Our hottest days will get hotter; our coldest days will get colder. Winter and summer storms will be become more intense. As these changes occur, experts are seeking to learn the impact extreme weather events will have on ecosystems and our lives.

Large ice storms can disrupt lives and damage infrastructure, resulting in billions of dollars of damage. They also literally reshape forests. Heavy ice loads break branches and topple whole trees, resulting in reduced tree growth in ensuing years, increased susceptibility to pests and pathogens, changes in habitat for wildlife, and alterations in how nutrients like carbon and nitrogen cycle in the forest. This study will take an unprecedented look at these effects.

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Matt Wheeler
Communications Manager
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