How will our environment cope with the levels of carbon dioxide we expect to see in 2050. It’s a frightening thought, but most of our data on expected results is pretty much theoretical. However in an attempt to quantify what will exactly happen, scientists are pouring carbon dioxide to a forest to quantify how it copes with growing levels of this pollution – a crucial contributor to climate change.
The decade-long experimentation, that will be conducted with University of Birmingham’s Institute of Forest Research, will expose a fenced-off part of woodland at Norbury Park, Staffordshire, to degrees of CO2 that experts predict will soon be widespread in 2050.
There are some reports on the BBC website about the project which you can access outside the UK by using a BBC iPlayer abroad like this. However there are similar experiments being conducted in other countries too – try here for more information.
The Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment experiment intends to gauge the forest’s ability to capture carbon dioxide released from fossil fuel burning, and also answer questions regarding the ability of trees to absorb carbon contamination long-term.
Michael Tausz, the university co-director of woods study, stated: “Forests happily have a little more CO2 because that is their principal nutrient. But we do not understand just how much more and if they’re able to do this forever.”
The experiment is made up of succession of masts assembled into six 30-metre broad segments of woodland, reaching about 25 metres to the forest canopy.
Concentrated CO2 is fed via pipes into the peak of the masts, in which it’s pumped to the leafy top of the forest.
This past year, scientists in the UN World Meteorological Organisation estimated that carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide levels were at their highest at least 800,000 decades ago.
Using a Video Proxy, James Collins, 2017