Tree ring dating and climate change

30 Mar

First, contrary to the single ring per year paradigm, alternating poor and favorable conditions, such as mid-summer droughts, can result in several rings forming in a given year.Cross-dating was originally done by visual inspection; more recently, computers have been harnessed to do the task, applying statistical techniques to assess the matching.To eliminate individual variations in tree-ring growth, dendrochronologists take the smoothed average of the tree-ring widths of multiple tree samples to build up a ring history, a process termed replication.Growth rings, also referred to as tree rings or annual rings, can be seen in a horizontal cross section cut through the trunk of a tree.Growth rings are the result of new growth in the vascular cambium, a layer of cells near the bark that is classified as a lateral meristem; this growth in diameter is known as secondary growth.

Dendrochronology is useful for determining the timing of events and rates of change in the environment (most prominently climate) and also in works of art and architecture, such as old panel paintings on wood, buildings, etc.