Monday, May 14, 2018

What can trees tell us about climate change ?

Quite a lot, actually!
But to understand what the trees tell us, we first have to understand the difference between weather and climate.
Weather is a specific event—like a rain storm or hot day—that happens over a short period of time. Weather can be tracked within hours or days. Climate is the average weather conditions in a place over a long period of time (30 years or more). 
Scientists at the National Weather Service have been keeping track of weather in the United States since 1891. But trees can keep a much longer record of Earth’s climate. In fact, trees can live for hundreds—and sometimes even thousands—of years!
One way that scientists use trees to learn about past climate is by studying a tree’s rings. If you’ve ever seen a tree stump, you probably noticed that the top of the stump had a series of rings. It looks a bit like a bullseye.
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The light and dark rings of a tree. Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons user Amanda Tromley
These rings can tell us how old the tree is, and what the weather was like during each year of the tree’s life. The light-colored rings represent wood that grew in the spring and early summer, while the dark rings represent wood that grew in the late summer and fall. One light ring plus one dark ring equals one year of the tree’s life.
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The color and width of tree rings can provide snapshots of past climate conditions.
Because trees are sensitive to local climate conditions, such as rain and temperature, they give scientists some information about that area’s local climate in the past. For example, tree rings usually grow wider in warm, wet years and they are thinner in years when it is cold and dry. If the tree has experienced stressful conditions, such as a drought, the tree might hardly grow at all in those years.
Scientists can compare modern trees with local measurements of temperature and precipitation from the nearest weather station. However, very old trees can offer clues about what the climate was like long before measurements were recorded.
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This is said to be the Methuselah Tree, one of the oldest living trees in the world. Methuselah, a bristlecone pine tree in White Mountain, California is thought to be almost 5,000 years old. Image credit: Oke/Wikimedia Commons
In most places, daily weather records have only been kept for the past 100 to 150 years. So, to learn about the climate hundreds to thousands of years ago, scientists need to use other sources, such as trees, corals, and ice cores (layers of ice drilled out of a glacier).
Thanx NASA Climate Kids

Knight  Jonny  C.


  1. Howdy my precious son,
    I didn't know trees has their very own way of talking ... everything on Mother Earth is connected all we have to do is look at the wonders that surround us and we have abused and raped her as she is crying out for help .
    Amazing post sweetie.
    Love you bunches
    Knight Mama

    1. Hi Knight Mama,
      I was surprise to know this about trees . Uncle Jon told me where to find this article , he said Jonny , you are never to old to stop learning always remember what your poppa taught you to always keep an open mind . because things may not be as they appear .
      Thank you Knight Mama
      Love you back
      Knight Jonny C.

  2. May 14 , 2018
    This month----325
    JLC .

  3. The trees can tell us the story of their lives and the environment they lived in. Another way to check the history of climate is studying the strata or layers of earth, rocks and decayed vegetation that build up over the centuries liked different colored stripes. Scientists can drill deep in the earth and then study the core they pull up or just study the exposed sides of cliffs or valleys.
    Hey folks, climate scientists know stuff. They really do. We can learn so much from them. 'You hear that Cheeto Boy'??
    You tell him Jonny.
    This is a fascinating post Buddy. Good job.
    Love Aunt Jeannie

    1. Hi Knight aunt Jeannie ,
      Once they cut a tree down on the compound , the man said it had a fungus , it would spread to the other trees , uncle Jon was studying the rings in the tree , we wanted to know what he was doing , he told us he was seeing how old the tree was , he explained it to us , I was glad he found this article for me hopefully it will help others to want to learn more .
      Thank you very much
      Love Knight Jonny