Background: Last winter some researchers from the University of Maine conducted a research project at Old Town High School. They investigated how snowpack affects the temperature of the soil throughout the winter, and how the temperature of the soil might affect the soil ecosystem. To gather these data, they had to go out every time it snowed and shovel their test plots clean, which was a big job this winter.
The graph shows a time series of soil temperatures for snowy and cleared plots to answer the question: How does soil temperature change through time in plots covered with snow and in plots not covered with snow? Snow removal began February 1st. The gray lines represent soil temperatures in the snowy plots and the black lines represent soil temperatures in the cleared plots.
Data Source: Unpublished Data from Corianne Tatariw
1. Describe what the graph shows about how soil temperature is affected by snowpack.
2. What would be some implications for soils and ecosystems across Maine if climate change causes Maine winters to be warmer?
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