July 17, 2006

Tundra "Early Warning System" To Detect Global Warming

Like watching grass grow:
MOUNT ALBION - University of Colorado biologists began installing an alarm system atop this craggy summit Friday, near the Continental Divide west of Boulder.

Like the alarm systems in your car or home, this one is designed to detect intruders.

But in this case, the invaders are tundra plants moving up from lower elevations in response to global warming. The alarm system is a cluster of mountaintop vegetation plots that will be monitored periodically for decades to come.

"They might be an early warning, an indicator of how natural systems will respond," said ecologist William Bowman, director of CU's Mountain Research Station at Niwot Ridge, northwest of Nederland.


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