Yes, that title looks very Danish! I just returned from a short trip to the beautiful-yet-rainy east coast of Danmark, at the Aarhus University in Rønde. Besides for some outstanding Danish cuisine (did you try their amazing rye bread lunches?), we mostly met up their to talk microclimate.
Topic of our little meeting was how one could measure the local climate for insects and other arthropods in the tundra. For our global SoilTemp-project, this is a very interesting question, as these little creatures are one of the key organism groups for which we believed our initiative very important: a ground beetle crawling through an Arctic moss bed will not have the faintest idea about the climate conditions at 2 meter in the air as measured in a weather station, making it very urgent to go measure there where it matters.
Our meeting was short yet very productive: we got much closer to what kind of data we need, what challenges lie ahead if one wants to measure exactly ‘what the beetle feels’, and to how the available microclimatic measurement devices can get us the closest to that answer.
If all goes well, our knowledge of the environment as experienced by these little, often neglected, creatures in a changing Arctic and Antarctic will soon start increasing, as data will flow in over the coming field seasons.
And that feels good: witnessing the start of such an ambitious, yet much needed plan to improve our understanding of a crucial component of cold-climate biodiversity. In a few years from now, when we will have our answers, we will look back on this Danish meeting with fond memories, as here it was where it all started.