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Urbanization & Global Climate Change
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Using BaltimoreCity To Study Global Warming

CSGCL scientists, with the cooperation of the Maryland Science Center and the Carrie Murray Nature Center, are studying the effects of global warming using plots located in downtown Baltimore, near the Baltimore beltway, and in Frederick.  The project, started in March 2002, uses a natural transect of temperature and CO2 to evaluate ecological and physical effects of global warming.

digging sub soilsPrior to experimentation, soils at the research sites were excavated, mixed and replaced at each plot to eliminate the potential for variation. The study soil was placed on the top 1.0 meter and packed to its original density. Seeds were added to ensure representation of certain indigenous weeds.


Baltimore Inner Harbor

The USDA site located next to the Maryland Science Center is a short walk from downtown Baltimore.  Look closely and you will see four white areas inside the black fence. These are the research plots containing test soil.


collecting climate dataClimate data is collected year round. Readings on air temperature, relative humidity,light, CO2, wind speed and direction, and soil temperature are recorded.


collecting sunflower seeds

By mid-summer, sunflowers and weeds at the Carey Murray site towered over our support technician.  The shade cloth (gray) surrounding each plot is used to minimize the border effect ensuring all plants within each block will receive approximately equal amounts of light.

For more information, contact Dr. Lewis Ziska, USDA, at