May 1, 2014

Dendrochronology: Tree Rings Record Extreme Weather Cycles

A new BYU study documents the extreme 16-year drought in Utah.

BYU Geography Professor Matt Bekker uses dendrochronology (dendro=tree, chronology=time) to reveal extreme weather patterns in the Western US. By taking core samples from trees and measuring tree rings, the BYU research team can correlate patterns in tree rings to weather cycles. The process allows researchers to extend the known climatic history of a region hundreds of years beyond the written history. Such information can be used by water managers to prepare for possible drought cycles in the future. Data collected in Utah revealed an extreme period of drought that spanned 16 years; the event, which occurred in the year 1703, was previously unknown to climatologists.

Credit: Brigham Young University

[ Read the Article: Utah’s Severe Droughts Recorded By Trees ]

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