Study: Tree Rings Show Climate Change Has Influenced Droughts For Over 100-Years

James St. John / CC-BY-2.0 / Flickr

Tree rings from around the world are telling the same story; climate change has been influencing droughts for a century.

According to Scientific American, new research has revealed that global warming has been influencing the severity of droughts for over 100 years. Tree ring data worldwide was analyzed by researchers from NASA, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Columbia University, as tree rings can show a record of the changing climate of a forest because trees grow differently in hotter or drier periods.

The study confirms that global warming has been affecting droughts for over a century.

“I was surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been,” said NASA climate scientist Kate Marvel, who led the research team.

The study also revealed that even though global warming’s influence became apparent early on in the record, beginning around 1950 the effect starts to decline. Researchers think this may be because of air pollution which could have been counteracting some of the effects of climate change. Some types of air pollutants block the sun’s rays, which cools down the planet and masks some of the effects of global warming.

Around 1980, the influence of global warming on droughts began to rise again. Researchers believe that further climate change will strengthen the influence on droughts worldwide.

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