Tree Rings Current Events

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Seeing the wood for the trees: New study shows sheep in tree-ring records
Nibbling by herbivores can have a greater impact on the width of tree rings than climate, new research has found. The study, published this week in the British Ecological Society's journal Functional Ecology, could help increase the accuracy of the tree ring record as a way of estimating past climatic conditions. (2011-07-26)

Mystery of infamous 'New England Dark Day' solved by tree rings
At noon, it was black as night. It was May 19, 1780, and some people in New England thought judgment day was at hand. Accounts of that day, became known as (2008-06-06)

Recent decades likely wettest in 4 millennia in Tibet
Recent decades may have been the wettest in 3,500 years in North East Tibet -- according to climate researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Researchers looked at 3,500-year-long tree ring records from North East Tibet to estimate annual precipitation. They found that recent decades have likely been the wettest on record in this semi-arid region. (2014-02-11)

Global warming greatest in past decade
Researchers confirm that surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were warmer over the last 10 years than any time during the last 1300 years, and, if the climate scientists include the somewhat controversial data derived from tree-ring records, the warming is anomalous for at least 1700 years. (2008-09-01)

ICRAF scientist named AfriCAN Climate Research Award winner
The AfriCAN Climate consortium has named Dr. Aster Gebrekirstos, a Scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre as co-winner of the AfriCAN Climate Awards 2014. The Award celebrates outstanding contribution by African women researchers in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation. The AfriCAN editorial committee jointly conferred the award on Gebrekirstos and Dr. Debra Cynthia Roberts of the eThekwini Municipality, Durban South Africa. (2014-04-30)

Tree rings provide evidence for climate regime shifts
Researchers at the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have given an overview on using tree rings to identify climate regime shifts in a perspective paper, they provided background in the field and discussed its advances. They also referenced a paper reporting a recent climate regime shift to a hotter and drier climate over inner East Asia. (2020-11-30)

Uncertainties in tree-ring-based climate reconstructions probed
Current approaches to reconstructing past climate by using tree-ring data need to be improved on so that they can better take uncertainty into account, new research led out of New Zealand's University of Otago suggests. Tree growth rings are commonly used as climate proxies because they can be well-dated and the width of each ring is influenced by the climatic conditions of the year it grew in. (2016-01-27)

Tree rings tell climate stories that technology can't
A new study in Nature Communications by scientists from the Harvard Forest, Columbia University, ETH Z├╝rich, and elsewhere shows how information revealed by a new method of analyzing tree rings matches the story told by more high-tech equipment over the short-term. Because trees are long-lived, looking back in their rings with this new approach may add decades or even centuries to our understanding of carbon storage and climate change in forests. (2019-03-01)

In the arctic, extreme air pollution kills trees, limits growth by reducing sunlight
At the most heavily polluted site on Earth, dendroecology, dendrochemistry, and process-based forward modelling were used to explore the relationship of tree growth and mortality with industrial pollution. (2020-09-29)

Understanding forest fire history can help keep forests healthy
University of Missouri researchers have studied tree rings throughout Oklahoma and Tennessee to determine the history of fires in those areas. (2016-07-05)

Australia's climate: Drought and flooding in annual rings of tropical trees
Annual rings are acclaimed in representing natural climate archives. For the temperate latitudes it is known that the growth of these annual rings depend mainly on temperature and precipitation. In the tropics, however, with only slight seasonal variations, the correlation is not so evident. (2009-06-11)

Researchers study oldest oak east of the Mississippi
Studies of a 373-year-old white oak found in an Ohio old- growth forest suggest it is the oldest recorded hardwood east of the Mississippi. But while this ranking is exciting to the researchers studying the forest, they are more interested in what the tree can tell them about the climate and ecology in the region over nearly four centuries. (2000-11-01)

Nuclear approach may help climate researchers pinpoint volcanic eruptions
There's gold in them thar rings. Tree rings that is, and Penn State researchers are using the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor to measure gold and link the rings to volcanic eruptions. (2005-05-25)

University of Tennessee collaborates in study: Dire drought ahead, may lead to massive tree death
For most, to find evidence that recent years' droughts have been record-breaking, they need not look past the withering garden or lawn. For Henri Grissino-Mayer he looks at the rings of trees over the past one thousand years. He can tell you that this drought is one of the worst in the last 600 years in America's Southwest and predicts worst are still to come. (2012-10-15)

More To Drought Than Meets The Eye
Just as you can't judge a book by its cover, you probably can't judge a tree's drought tolerance by its leaf response, according to Penn State researchers. (1997-08-14)

First long temperature reconstruction for the eastern Mediterranean based on tree rings
For the eastern Mediterranean, an exactly dated time series of almost 900 year length was established, exhibiting the medieval warm period, the little ice age between the 16th and 19th century as well as the transition into the modern warm phase. (2013-09-27)

Measurements of Saturn's gravitational field show its rings are younger than the planet
Using data from the Cassini spacecraft's final orbits, scientists report new measurements of the gravitational field around Saturn and its rings, which allowed them to constrain its internal structure, the depth of its winds, and the mass and age of its rings. (2019-01-17)

First long temperature reconstruction for the eastern Mediterranean based on tree rings
For the eastern Mediterranean, an exactly dated time series of almost 900 year length was established, exhibiting the medieval warm period, the little ice age between the 16th and 19th century as well as the transition into the modern warm phase. (2013-09-26)

Tree rings reveal nightmare droughts in the West
Scientists extended Utah's climate record back to 1429 using tree rings. They found Utah's climate has seen extreme droughts, including one that lasted 16 years. If history is repeated in the rapidly growing Western states, the water supply would run out based on current consumption. (2014-05-01)

Tree rings may underestimate climate response to volcanic eruptions
Some climate cooling caused by past volcanic eruptions may not be evident in tree-ring reconstructions of temperature change because large enough temperature drops lead to greatly shortened or even absent growing seasons, according to climate researchers, who compared tree-ring temperature reconstructions with model simulations of past temperature changes. (2012-02-05)

Medieval diaries aid scientists ascertain increase in hot spots due to global warming
The temperature of the Northern Hemisphere has increased over a larger area in the last century than at any time in the past millennium a report published in Science reveals this week. The study finds that the number of hot spots has increased dramatically in the Northern Hemisphere in the last century compared to the past 1200 years adding to the growing evidence of wide-scale global warming. (2006-02-09)

Reconstructing salmon populations
In a recent study published in Ecology, Deanne C. Drake, Robert J. Naiman, and James M. Helfield, all of the University of Washington, paired annual tree ring growth with catch data to determine what salmon stocks looked like 200 years ago. (2002-12-05)

Bark Beetle Infestation Spurs Multifaceted Study
A beetle infestation near Lake Tahoe, Nev., may lead to a better understanding of pre-European contact forest ecology and shed light on the early history of the area, according to a Penn State geographer. (1996-08-12)

Historical climate fluctuations in Central Europe overestimated due to tree ring analysis
Tree rings exaggerate, a team of researchers finds. Scientists deduce historical climatic conditions for the past hundreds of years from the width of the annual growth rings of trees. Previous temperature reconstructions from the annual tree rings are however to some extent inaccurate, according to a new study published in Climate Dynamics. Tree rings overstate the natural climatic variations of past centuries. A comparison of data from church and city archives shows that the climate has developed much more evenly. (2020-09-10)

Best ever UV images of Saturn rings hint at their origin, evolution, say U. of Colorado researchers
The best view ever of Saturn's rings in the ultraviolet indicates there is more ice toward the outer part of the rings, hinting at ring origin and evolution, say two University of Colorado at Boulder researchers involved in the Cassini mission. (2004-07-07)

Carbon and oxygen in tree rings can reveal past climate information
Scientists working in Canada's North used isotope analysis to look at past temperatures. Not only is the method accurate, fewer trees are required than the number needed when using tree rings. (2009-12-03)

Tree rings could pin down Thera volcano eruption date
Research led by the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has anchored a long sequence of tree rings, providing context for the civilizations that existed throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages, including the eruption of Thera. (2020-03-30)

Revealing the structure of axons
Recent studies have shown that under the axonal membrane, rings composed of actin filaments give the structure its flexibility. But those studies had not been able to define the precise architecture of these rings. By combining two microscopy techniques, optical and electronic, French researchers have now managed to observe these rings at the molecular scale. They are formed of long braided actin filaments, braided like a Christmas wreath. (2019-12-20)

Climate patterns linked in Amazon, North and South America, study shows
University of Arkansas researchers developed a tree-ring chronology from the Amazon River basin that established a link between climate patterns in the Amazon and the Americas. (2020-10-09)

Arctic study sheds light on tree-ring divergence problem
New research from San Francisco State University has found that changes in tree-ring density in the Arctic may be evidence of changes in light intensity during the trees' growth. The finding has direct implications for the tree-ring 'divergence problem,' in which the density of tree rings in recent decades has not kept pace with increases in temperature, as expected. (2014-05-07)

Saturn's ring waves
This false-colour image of two density waves in Saturn's A ring was taken by the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft at a distance of 6.8 million kilometres from Saturn. (2004-11-11)

The water flow of the Amazon River in a natural climate archive
Oxygen isotopes in tree rings are an excellent archive of precipitation dynamics in the tropical Amazon region. (2012-10-02)

New SwRI study argues that Saturn's rings are actually not young
No one knows for certain when Saturn's iconic rings formed, but a new study co-authored by a Southwest Research Institute scientist suggests that they are much older than some scientists think. (2019-09-18)

Teeth serve as 'archive of life,' new research finds
Teeth constitute a permanent and faithful biological archive of the entirety of the individual's life, from tooth formation to death, a team of researchers has found. Its work provides new evidence of the impact that events, such as reproduction and imprisonment, have on an organism. (2020-03-25)

A clearer view of past climate from tree rings
To see where the Earth's climate is headed, we have to see where it's been. A new Francisco State University study outlines a mathematical technique that uses a basic law of plant growth to improve estimates of historical temperature and rainfall from tree rings. (2019-02-28)

Saturn's rings cast shadows, affect the planet's ionosphere
Data collected by the Cassini spacecraft, before it was deliberately crashed into Saturn's atmosphere in September 2017, show that the planet's illustrious rings are casting a shadow in ionized particles over the planet. (2017-12-11)

Tree rings show scale of Arctic pollution is worse than previously thought
The largest-ever study of tree rings from Norilsk in the Russian Arctic has shown that the direct and indirect effects of industrial pollution in the region and beyond are far worse than previously thought. (2020-09-25)

New study illustrates shifting biomes in Alaska
A new study released today in the EarlyView of Ecology Letters addresses forest productivity trends in Alaska, highlighting a shift in biomes caused by a warming climate. The findings, conducted by scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center and three other institutions based in Alaska and France, linked satellite observations with an extensive and unique tree-ring data set. This study provides a regional picture of forest productivity which did not previously exist (2011-02-21)

What happened to the sun over 7,000 years ago?
By analyzing the level of a carbon isotope in tree rings from a specimen of an ancient bristlecone pine, a team led by Nagoya University researchers has revealed that the sun exhibited a unique pattern of activity in 5480 BC. By comparing this event with other similar but more recent phenomena, they reported that this event may have involved a change in the sun's magnetic activity, or a number of successive solar burst emissions. (2017-02-06)

Tree-rings reveal secret clocks that could reset key dates across the ancient world
In a new paper, the authors explain how harvesting such data could revolutionize the study of ancient civilizations such as the Egyptian and Mayan worlds. Until now scholars have had only vague evidence for dating when events happened during the earliest periods of civilization, with estimates being within hundreds of years, but this new method could pinpoint historical dates to the calendar year. (2016-08-16)

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