Atmosphere from outer space.

2018 Research Highlights: Climate Change

      University researchers are committed to uncovering new information and developing conservation plans to assist with climate adaptation strategies. From dealing with the fallout of extreme weather to sharing climate related information with Minnesotans, researchers are working hard to prepare the state and public for changes in climate and land use.  

2018 highlights include:

  • Tall tower observations from 2010 to present have shown that N2O emissions are highly sensitive to climate. In 2012, one the warmest years, researchers found that regional N2O emissions exceeded 585 Gg N2O-N y-1, implying that future warmer and wetter conditions will probably increase emissions.
  • Researchers have successfully developed an Agro-ABIS modeling framework that captures rates of canopy uptake and canopy structure as a function of time as a forest stand ages.
  • A study on the effects of climate warming on photosynthesis in boreal tree species found that soil moisture could play a key role in the process--perhaps even reversing the potential effects of climate warming on tree photosynthesis in mesic, seasonally cold environments. 
  • Researchers completed a statewide field study of phragmites and mapped 390 populations. They also verified the hybrid can be distinguished from the native genotype by non-professionals using pictorial guides.   
  • A study on abiotic stress tolerance in plants captured over 30,000 RGB and hyperspectral images of maize plants in controlled growth and in field conditions. 
  • A research project working on compiling and analyzing both historical and recent phenological observations has led to the successful collection and digitization of 865,221 Minnesota observations on 1,546 species and 84 different stages. All of the data collected is available to the public on a searchable website.