A few miles outside Washington, D.C., a team of scientists from the Smithsonian Institution are predicting the impact elevated atmospheric carbon levels could have on our world. That’s nothing new, as scientists around the world work on the same problem every day. But what sets their work apart is what they’re studying to make predictions: a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh.
This virtual “climate crystal ball” is the nation’s longest-running experiment to measure CO2 levels, and is predicting what plant life will look like by 2100 if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise. energyNOW! chief correspondent Tyler Suiters looked at how the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center has been duplicating the effects of rising CO2 levels on a small-scale, then forecasting what it means for plant ecosystems over the past two decades.
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