Tree Frog Forestry News

120-foot tower in coastal forest adding to understanding of global climate change

By Steven Bradley
Clemson University Newsstand
July 2, 2018
Category: General
Region: US East, United States

GEORGETOWN — The pines and the climate are talking to each other on Hobcaw Barony, and Clemson University scientist Thomas O’Halloran is using a 120-foot tower to eavesdrop on their “conversations.” Eddy covariance, or eddy flux, is an atmospheric measuring technique and statistical method used to determine exchange rates of trace gases over natural ecosystems — in this case, the longleaf pine forest at Clemson’s Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Sciences. “Everybody knows climate and weather make trees grow, but maybe it’s less obvious that what trees are doing also affects the climate — their growth determines how much carbon dioxide they take out of the atmosphere,” said O’Halloran, an assistant professor in the department of forestry and environmental conservation. “In turn, how much CO2 is in the atmosphere is affecting the climate. These things are coupled. They talk to each other.”

Read More