Biological station launches local climate change project
A team of researchers is building a network of satellite-linked microclimate stations to collect air, soil and water measurements over a 100 square kilometer area centered on the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS).
The data, recorded in real time, will provide Queen’s researchers with an opportunity for studying the impact of climate change on the local aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The data transmitted via satellite and will be available free to researchers worldwide via the web.
“We are witnessing a fundamental change in climate that’s having an impact on ecology,” says Dr. Lougheed (Biology), director, Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS). “We want to understand what’s happening on the landscape as this area has among the highest levels of biodiversity in Canada including endangered species.
Dr. Lougheed notes there are other similar projects happening around the world but they are being completed on a much larger spatial scale. He pointed to the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), an initiative in the US looking at 62 sites across the continent. The local project, on the other hand, is being completed on a much finer geographic scale.
The research, funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant includes 10 researchers from three provinces and six universities.
The other universities involved are L'Université du Québec à Montréal, L'Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, University of British Columbia, McMaster University and McGill University.