We're putting this forest on fast-forward to learn what Earth will feel like in 100 years.

The plan is to give us a flash forward look at the Earth's future.

We've all been there — stuck in a cyclical conversation about some random hypothetical situation we can't actually imagine.

"If we can return to talking about the social media plan." "Please, David. David, no. David. DAVID. NO." Photo from iStock.

And then some blessed person shouts from the back of the meeting room and says, "Well, why don't we just go see for ourselves?"


Why spend all this time arguing about how something's going to go down when we can just go do it?

That "let's just go see for ourselves" attitude is why I love this weird forest experiment happening right now in New Hampshire.

Talking about climate change feels a lot like that awful meeting: We've nailed down a lot of the big questions about climate change — like where it's coming from — but a lot of the little things aren't as clear. And arguing about it can get ... tedious. It feels like a huge, insurmountable problem we can't quite grasp or tackle completely.

But at the Hubbard Brooke experimental forest in New Hampshire, a group of scientists are embracing the "let's go check it out" attitude.

Scientists are putting electric heaters in a small patch of forest to see what a warmer world will actually be like.

It's called the Climate Change Across Seasons Experiment and is being run by Professor Pamela Templer.

The idea is fairly simple: The scientists are putting electrical cables under about 6,000 square feet of forest soil. When they're turned on, the cables work kind of like a big electric blanket, warming the soil by about 9 degrees. That's not enough to bake anything or cause any real damage, but it does mimic what the average temperature of Earth may be like a hundred years from now.

They've been doing this since 2012, and they've found some interesting effects already.

In the heat, the trees as a whole are filtering less carbon from the air. Their roots also take up less nitrogen from the soil, which is actually changing the soil composition and might have domino effects further down the line.

From a scientific point of view, this could help us predict what'll happen to America's forests as a whole in 100 years.

This isn't just a cool experiment, though. It's also a refreshing moment of cutting through hypotheticals.

Science often thrives on careful discussion and consideration, but it's awesome to see people stepping away from hypothetical arguments and actually trying things out. It's freedom.

And we all know how that feels:

Photo from iStock.

Heroes

We all know that social media can be a cesspool of trolly negativity, but sometimes a story comes along that totally restores your faith in the whole thing. Enter the KFC proposal that started off being mocked and ended up with a swarm of support from individuals and companies who united to give the couple an experience to remember.

Facebook user Tae Spears shared the story with screenshots from Twitter, and the response has been overwhelming.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / ESPN

Madison Square Garden in New York City is known for having hosted some legendary performances. George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in '71, Billy Joel's 12 sellouts in '06, and Carmelo Anthony's 62 points in a 2014 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, just to name a few.

But it's hard to imagine one person holding the legendary arena in the palm of their hand quite like Pete DuPré, better known as "Harmonica Pete," did on Veterans Day.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq. / YouTube

Whenever life becomes too tedious or stressful, it seems that the human psyche has a release valve that turns on and we just go, "F it."

I give up. I no longer care. I got nothing left.

It's a wonderful moment when we go from being at our wits end to being on the other side of the madness. Because, after all, as Mark Manson, author of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" says:

You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact.
Keep Reading Show less
popular