SU researcher part of team creating ice storms for study

Local News
Frozen Trees 2

A Syracuse University researcher is part of a team studying ice storms with a very unique experiment.

Charles Driscoll and other scientists are creating their own ice storms in a basketball court size section of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

“These just happen, it’s very difficult to prepare for this so we wanted to try and do an experiment looking at the effects of ice storms under controlled conditions.”  Driscoll tells NewsChannel 9.

The researchers for the second straight year hauled their equipment out to a section of forest set aside for science experiments.

It has to be below 20 degrees for a few days in a row and then using fire houses and stream water they below their own version of precipitation into the canopy creating different icing conditions.

Driscoll says, “It’s unbelievable to see this going on and all the damage that’s occurring right before your eyes.  It’s quite a remarkable occurrence.”

They’re looking at level of damage to different varieties of trees they tested last year to investigate the impact of multiple impacts.

The data they collect can help them examine not only the damage to trees but impact to wildlife and the atmosphere.

Driscoll says, “There’s an ice belt that runs from Texas up to New England and on into Canada and the projections under climate change is that these events are thought to be coming more frequent.”

The National Science Foundation grant will allow them to continue this study for at least another few years.
 

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