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Part 13: Holocene and Anthropocene

By Luisa Cristini,  PhD, University of Hawaii at Manoa [Note from the editor: This is the thirteenth in a series of blog entries that will focus on introductory topics in climate dynamics and modeling, and will serve to provide insight into the current understanding of the science.] In addition to the low frequency variability of […]

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Tree Rings: A Type of Weather Data

By Penny Paugh Trees grow on every continent except Antarctica, and the rings they contain embody a record of climate change going back thousands of years.  Each ring represents a single year’s growth, so not only can a ring count tell us how old a tree is, but they can also help reconstruct climatic history […]

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Could Climate Change Have Contributed to the Fall of Rome?

By Penny Paugh One form of environmental data, tree rings, has provided evidence of a climate shift that, perhaps not coincidentally, occurred from 250 to 550 A.D., a period that coincides with the fall of the Roman Empire. From ancient wood found in medieval castles and Roman ruins, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, […]

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Paleo Proxy Data: What Is It?

By Martina M. Dewey A paleoclimatologist’s work is science focused on the climate of past ages. Proxy data is data that paleoclimatologists gather from natural recorders of climate variability, e.g., tree rings, ice cores, fossil pollen, ocean sediments, coral and historical data. By analyzing records taken from these and other proxy sources, scientists can extend […]

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