Each year, we have a few days in which the data flows in like a tidal wave.
We go to Norway, to our long-term observation gradients along mountain roads to check out on the temperature sensors we have out there. For the fourth year in a row, we can now add a whole lot of microclimatic data to our growing database, with very limited field effort required.
This steady long-term data flow provides great opportunities for add-on projects. We look at leaf traits, root traits, soil conditions, mycorrhizae, bacterial membrane lipids… A whole variety of questions that all build on that beautiful backdrop that is our temperature data.
All of that brings a great set of data home, and next months will involve a lot of lab- and computerwork to get all of it figured out. Yet with every extra year in this field campaign, we start to know the system a little bit more, and we can put more and more pieces together.
And that is what makes this little trip to Norway feel so great: every year, you feel you understand it more and better. Every year, more questions have been answered.
More questions will be raised as well – of course – but that is for ‘future me’ to deal with in next year’s field campaign.