Via Patricia McBroom, a fascinating look at a group studying tree rings in the redwoods along the Northern California coast for clues about climate:
The plan is to chart the health of the trees over time and use laboratory analysis of carbon and oxygen isotopes to figure out how the trees have reacted in the past to climate and weather conditions.
“Embedded in this tree ring is a remarkable record of climate,” said Todd Dawson, the director of the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry at UC Berkeley, as he held up a core sample from a Montgomery Woods redwood. “Based on what has happened in the past, we can really project what will happen in the future.”
More on what tree rings can tell us, for that youngster on your holiday shopping list: The Tree Rings’ Tale: Understanding Our Changing Climate