A Tree Tells a Tale of Mongolia’s Drought 2000 Years Ago
New research is shedding light on a drought in Mongolia that happened 2000 years ago. By studying the rings from semi-fossilized trees, researchers have constructed a history of climate in Mongolia in the past 2060 years ago, which goes back 1000 years further than any other previous study. The researchers studied tree rings in a few hundred samples of Siberian pines. A ring’s width can be a good indicator of how much one particular tree grew in one year. Usually, the rings are wider and in dry years the rings are skinnier.
The research suggests that a difficult drought from about 2000 to 2010 years ago killed tens of thousands of livestock which is unprecedented in this region.
Park Williams, a bioclimatologist and research member from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y. said: “This is a part of the world where we don’t know about the past climate. Having this record is a great resource for trying to understand past droughts in the region.”
This type of research is also very important for predicting future climate trends which could help governments around the world to better prepare for the most severe climate change scenarios. This is especially important in countries like Mongolia, a country which lacks infrastructure such as enough water reservoirs that could be beneficial.
The climate patterns found in Mongolia could predict what can we expect in the future.
Arctic Warmings and the US Winter
While the Arctic is getting warmer, it definitely feels that the northeastern part of the US is getting colder. Only in the first two weeks of March this year, we had three winter storms slamming the northeast part of the country, from Washington D.C. to Boston. In the past decade, we had way too many winter storms that struck and created great damage in this region.
What’s going on with the weather lately? Scientists have suggested the extreme weather can be linked to the climate change impacts on the Arctic, in particular, the decreased ice cover in the Arctic. The study published in the Nature Communications suggests a strong correlation between severe weather in the US in the past few decades and the warming and dangerous trend in the Arctic.
This is important notice, as we have to remember that human-caused climate change is linked to the weather. A researcher who participated in the study said that “Every time it gets cold, everybody’s making a joke: ‘I wish we had global warming.’”
This is a great reminder that science is proving that we have to think more about planet Earth if we want to give our grandchildren a chance. A good moto on an individual level would be: “Think globally, act locally.” Also, we have to remind our governments that plans on how to deal with global warming are important to all of us.
The Beautiful Aurora
Aurora borealis (northern lights) and aurora australis (southern lights) are just beautiful and natural displays of the lights in the sky, predominantly seen in the high-latitude parts of the world, usually the Arctic and Antarctic. You probably did not know there are more kinds of auroras?!
We have a new type of Aurora called Steve, the aurora with a mauve ribbon and green bling. The feature of this particular northern lights was recently photographed and it was named by citizen scientists in Canada. The Aurora has a streak of color. Measurements from cameras and a satellite that passed when Steve was in a full swing showing the luminous band which is associated with a strong flow of ions in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
The moving lights of Steve are remarkable and not easy to explain in scientific terms.
The aurora is an acronym “Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement” or STEVE. If you have never seen the beautiful northern lights, it should be on your bucket list. Auroras are proof of how stunningly beautiful planet Earth really is and how grateful we should be to be alive.