IonE Frontiers, Through The Trees

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Many of the decisions we make about environmental issues are based on experience. Whether we're setting limits for the use of scarce resources, estimating the risks posed by natural hazards, or deciding how to manage protected areas, our plans for the future often reflect our understanding of the past. The problem is that, when it comes to the environment, our society has a fairly short memory. In this presentation, Dr. St. George will discuss how the study of ancient trees is expanding our perspective on the natural history of the northern Plains and helping to answer questions about what the future may hold for Minnesota's environment.

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IonE Frontiers, Through The Trees

  1. 1. the future
  2. 2. experience
  3. 3. AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Lt. Brendan Evans
  4. 4. Photograph: Dave Sauchyn
  5. 5. Photograph: Barry Shullanberger
  6. 6. experience
  7. 7. personal
  8. 8. institutional
  9. 9. “ The hills look like sawdust, really, that colour. Ive never seen it where the grass didnt turn green in the spring before.” JERRY MURPHY Elnora, AlbertaSource: The Globe and Mail, 1 July 2009
  10. 10. ~100 years
  11. 11. ~100 years
  12. 12. CLIMATE PROXIES ice cores tree rings lake sediments speleothems corals
  13. 13. Photograph: LacCore
  14. 14. Tree-ring display at elementary schoolPhotograph: Tom Swetnam
  15. 15. much more
  16. 16. “ RINGS IN THE BRANCHES OF SAWED TREES SHOWTHE NUMBER OF YEARS AND, ACCORDING TO THEIR THICKNESS, THE YEARS WHICH WERE MORE OR LESS DRY.” Leonardo da Vinci
  17. 17. floods climate landscape changeforest dynamics c ecology
  18. 18. Tree-ring display at elementary school Photograph:Tom Swetnam
  19. 19. Photograph: mlhradio
  20. 20. Photograph: Howard Arno
  21. 21. Photograph: Alan Stark
  22. 22. Tree rings provided the central evidence that caused municipal water agencies to“RETHINK OLDASSUMPTIONS” about worst-case scenarios for reservoir operations and re-evaluate the potential duration and geographic scope of severe drought.
  23. 23. Photograph: Baillie (1982)
  24. 24. Photograph: mlhradio
  25. 25. Photograph: Jonathan Frazier
  26. 26. The Seward oak 330 yr?Photograph: Ralph Sievert
  27. 27. “ Size ma ers not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hm? Mmmm.” Yoda
  28. 28. White pine 1714Photograph: Kurt Kipfmueller
  29. 29. White cedar 1452Photograph: Danny Margoles
  30. 30. Leonardo da Vinci b. 1452 d. 1519
  31. 31. Photo: Erik Nielsen
  32. 32. 47Photo: Erik Nielsen
  33. 33. “ The trees composing the forest rejoice and lament with its successes and failures and carry year by year something of its story in their annual rings.” A. E. Douglass University of Arizona
  34. 34. Photograph: Dave Sauchyn
  35. 35. “ RINGS IN THE BRANCHES OF SAWED TREES SHOWTHE NUMBER OF YEARS AND, ACCORDING TO THEIR THICKNESS, THE YEARS WHICH WERE MORE OR LESS DRY.” Leonardo da Vinci
  36. 36. water stressnarrow ring reduced photosynthesis less cell expansion reduced cell division
  37. 37. Photograph: Greg Brooks
  38. 38. NORTH AMERICAN DROUGHT ATLASh p://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/tree-ring-laboratory/
  39. 39. Cook et al., 2007, Earth Science Reviews
  40. 40. Tree-ring estimates of summer drought across North America AD 1452Source: Cook and Krusic, 2004
  41. 41. AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Lt. Brendan Evans
  42. 42. 63St.. George and Nielsen, The Holocene, 2003
  43. 43. 63St.. George and Nielsen, The Holocene, 2003
  44. 44. Photograph: Barry Shullanberger
  45. 45. experience
  46. 46. “THERE ISNOTHINGMAGICAL ABOUT THE LASTONE HUNDRED YEARS.” Balaji Rajagopalan University of Colorado
  47. 47. Source: UNEP-MCMC, 2000
  48. 48. “ Telling the future by looking at the past assumes that conditions remain constant. This is like driving a car by looking in the rearview mirror.” Herb Brody
  49. 49. the future

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