As Old as Methuselah

The vanishing groves

Bristlecone pines, dendrochronology, and climate change.

The chronology tells a familiar tale about what is happening to the Earth’s climate. In 2005, a researcher from Arizona’s tree-ring lab named Matthew Salzer noticed an unusual trend in the most recent stretch of bristlecone tree rings. Over the past half century, bristlecones near the tree line have grown faster than in any 50-year period of the past 3,700 years, a shift that portends ‘an environmental change unprecedented in millennia,’ according to Salzer. As temperatures along the peaks warm, the bristlecones are fattening up, adding thick rings in every spring season. Initially there was hope that the trend was local to the White Mountains, but Salzer and his colleagues have found the same string of fat rings — the same warming — in three separate bristlecone habitats in the western US. This might sound like good news for the trees, but it most assuredly is not. Indeed, the thick new rings might be a prophecy of sorts, a foretelling of the trees’ extinction.

One thought on “As Old as Methuselah

  1. Warm Earth bad – Carboniferous Period: 60 million years of evil as coal beds were laid down. Cold Earth good – glaciation, Dark Ages, French Revolution, WWII. Statistics thus show 4:1 in favor of Cold Earth.

    The tree line moving north renders First Peoples, First Nations, First Americans, Sovereign Indigenous Nations, and Aboriginals self-sufficient for building materials. A half-century of traditional cultures treated as nasty children while seizing a big cut of compassionate cashflow for manager rewards is now fragile and endangered.

    If bristlecone pines flourish in warmer and wetter climes, we must kill them take many more dendrochronology cores to document what is right and Officially True while installing mammoth air conditioning and dehumidification infrastructures. A memory hole has the smallest carbon fooprint, paying for itself with the Carbon Tax on Everything.

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