This Red Oak Live-Tweets Insight on Global Warming

Climate change was live-tweeted by the tree.

Deep in a forest in central Massachusetts, one can spot a typical red oak tree. His only distinguishing characteristic, besides his old age, is that he tweets information about climate change.

The 87-foot northern red oak live-tweeted the global warming crisis.

The debut of the century-old oak tree on social networks was the result of Tim Rademacher, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Forest and is now a joint effort with Clarisse Hart, who oversees outreach and education for the forest.

“We did the teamwork to give the tree a voice, which we decided would make the most sense in first person, and even with a personality, to make it accessible to a wider audience. wide,” Rademacher said. .

“But more importantly, our witness tree is an account based on objective data, which I hope will amplify messages about climate change. But we don’t decide what is published, it’s the tree. who did it.”

The tree live-tweeted the weather changes. This northern red oak was fitted by a Harvard Forest team with sensors, the information from which is sent into software to enable the tree to communicate.

In addition to a growth sensor that constantly monitors the tree, the Twitter tree has a sap flow sensor to measure the amount of liquid moving up and down the tree.

A camera that continuously takes photographs of the canopy is also present. All of this information is combined to create a code, which is then posted on the Witness Tree Twitter page.

The tree is around 100 years old and has witnessed various extreme weather events. This tree was there and unscathed when the Great New England Hurricane hit in 1938.

These cutting-edge techniques can not only demonstrate how quickly the climate is changing, but also how urgent it is to take immediate action to save trees that have been around for more than a century.

Teresa H. Sadler