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RESEARCHING TREE RINGS August 20, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Natural Environment.
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Tree ring research predates the amplified voice of climate change denial by decades. Like any observations there are doubtless variations.

Deutsche Wella reports that researchers have managed to reconstruct the climate from the study of tree rings for the last 2,000 years. It turns out that Finland because of its’ high latitude and the fact that tree trunks can be preserved in frozen water is a particularly good location for this research. The article considers the methods used, including the use of special X-ray technology that measures the density of the cells in the wood samples.

The conclusions confirm what is known from written sources:

According to the measurements findings, temperatures dropped continuously in the 2000 years before the year 1900, around the time the Industrial Revolution began, by about 0.3 degrees Celsius (2.44 degrees Fahrenheit) per 1000 years. The researchers didn’t consider the time after 1900 for their measurements because of the new phenomenon impacting on climate research, the rise in greenhouse gases.

Trees can tell us something about the past – and possibly about the future
The Finnish tree rings also had something to tell about other climate events. The climate curves gave information about volcano eruptions, because in the wake of these events, temperatures generally drop by about 0.7 degrees Celsius. Warm and cold periods can also be identified this way. During Roman times, temperatures were very high. The same goes for the so-called Medieval Climate Optimum, a warm period in the Middle Ages. This was followed by a colder phase, the so-called small ice age. In the second decade, temperatures started rising again.

Today, climate modelers who try and predict the climate of the future could potentially also benefit from the results of the research. The data stems from a time when there was little CO2 in the atmosphere. And so, the trees can tell researchers something about natural climate change – with no human impact.

Tree Ring research, dendrochronology, preceded concern with global warming, and it is suggested began as proxy for sunspot activity:

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