Tree Ring Data

August 29, 2014--Greenhouse gas buildup ‘loads the dice’ for Southwest megadroughts (Summit Voice)

Tree ring records clearly show that the southwestern U.S. experienced megadroughts long before the anthropogenic global warming era. One such decades-long dry spell may have been a factor in the collapse of the Anasazi civilization at Mesa Verde.


July 12, 2014--Turns out tree rings can be played on a turntable (Mother Nature Network)

A tree's biography is written in its rings. Not only can growth rings reveal its age, but they also offer glimpses into each year of its life. Trees grow differently based on environmental conditions, so tree rings record data on droughts, floods, fires, even solar flares — a logbook inside every log.

June 29, 2014--River series: The toll of drought (Vail Daily)

Wendy Ryan stood in front of a room packed with water professionals and offered this historical perspective. In the last 1,400 years, the last 14 years were not the driest. But it’s as dry as it has ever been. Ryan is with the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University. They were curious about drought and wanted data, not anecdotes.


July 1, 2013--Global warming may drive more active La Niña pattern (Summit Voice)

Climate scientists have long suspected that global warming has an influence on the Pacific Ocean El Niño- La Niña cycle (El Niño-Southern Oscillation), but instrumental records tracking the shift between above- and below average sea surface temperatures don’t go back far enough to provide context for any recent changes in the pattern.


August 12, 2012--The long, dry history of the West (New York Times)

Long before the current drought or the continuing conversation about  global warming, before the Dust Bowl, the climate in large portions of the American West was far drier than modern humans have become accustomed to. The 19th and 20th centuries, ancient tree rings show, were a relative oasis of settlement-friendly weather.


June 25, 2012--Goodbye to mountain forests? (New York Times)

When the smoke finally clears and new plant life pokes up from the scorched earth after the wildfires raging in the southern Rockies, what emerges will look radically different than what was there just a few weeks ago.


November 6, 2011--Scientists find evidence of ancient megadrought in Southwestern U.S. (Science Daily)

A new study at the the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought period in the second century A.D. The findings give evidence that extended periods of aridity have occurred at intervals throughout our past. Almost 900 years ago, in the mid-12th century, the southwestern U.S.


June 10, 2011--Study: Rockies snowpack declines greater than in past centuries (Colorado Springs Gazette)

Rocky Mountain snowpack is lighter and melting sooner in the past 30 years than in previous centuries, according to a new federal study. The U.S.


February 12, 2011--New tree ring study pinpoints ancient mega-droughts (Summit Voice)

A new tree ring study spanning more than 1,200 years is helping archaeologists pinpoint the exact dates of ancient mega-droughts that may have been key factors in the decline of major pre-Hispanic cultures in Mexico and Central America.


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