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IU Forest Tower Receives Department of Energy Funding

An influx tower in the Morgan Monroe State Forest will provide the Department of Energy with climate change data.

forest tower

Photo: Indiana University Newsroom

A view over Morgan-Monroe State Forest from IU's flux tower

Indiana University researchers will be able to study the effects of climate change on Indiana’s forests for at-lease another year thanks to a new designation and funding from the Department of Energy.

IU researcher Kim Novick says a 150-foot metal tower in the Morgan Monroe State Forest has been used for the past 15 years to collect data on the carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and the forest.

“It is motivated by climate change and in particular the need to better understand how forest ecosystems interact with the atmosphere and how much carbon dioxide they remove from the atmosphere in a given amount of time through photosynthesis,” Novick says.

The tower has now been chosen along with 10 others to be what’s called core data-gathering sites. The Department of Energy will rely heavily on those sites and their researchers to develop and implement new data-collection techniques that can inform the department’s energy policy.

The new designation also provides funding to maintain and use the tower through at least September 2015.

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