• Lecturer: Dra. Laia Andreu-Hayles, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • Date: Jul, 5, 2018 12:00
  • Place: Sala d'Actes de l'Institut de Ciències de la Terra Jaume Almera (ICTJA)
  • Further information: Dr. Leopoldo D. Pena, Dept. de Dinàmica de la Terra i de l'Oceà Facultat de Ciències de la Terra (UB)

Current anthropogenic environmental changes are indisputable and are strongly impacting the Earth’s climatic system, ecosystem services, and water resources, while potentially jeopardizing the well-being of human populations worldwide. While the highest rates of increasing temperatures across the planet are occurring in the Artic and sub-artic regions, little is known about how the tropical forests, a stockpile of carbon and greatly affected by deforestation, are responding to global warming. In mid-latitudes, places in the Mediterranean or inner Asia are predicted to suffer even higher warming trends than those observed today. Historic changes in past climate have been associated with the demise of civilizations, expansion of Empires, technological developments, infrastructure destruction, and other relevant issues for societies. It is therefore paramount that we provide a knowledge-based understanding of this global change in a long-term context. Tree rings record interactions between the atmosphere and the biosphere, and thus, are exceptional sources of information on the Earth’s environmental history. This presentation will show several case studies of how tree rings can inform us about environmental changes using parameters such as ring-width, carbon (δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) stable isotopes, radiocarbon (14C) and Blue Intensity (BI). BI is a less expensive and labor-intensive tool than the classical proxy for density. The study sites are located from the boreal forest of Alaska to the tropical Andes of South America, and the temperate mesic forests of the northeastern U.S. to pine forests of the Iberian Peninsula. Lessons from the past learned from tree rings can aid to design a sustainable management of natural resources taking into account natural climate fluctuations in conjunction with changes in societal needs.

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