Climategate and the Migrating Arctic Tree Line

One of the more enlightening e-mails to spill out of the Climategate scandal is a report on the progress of Siberian fossilized tree ring work. The report, dated October 9, 1998, focuses on some two thousand samples of fossilized trees thirty-three nautical miles north of the present-day Arctic Circle. The report attempts to correlate the migration, north and south, of the tree line with annual tree ring dating so that an actual year can be assigned to a certain location of the Arctic Circle. The report correctly states that there has been migration of the polar tree line over the past several thousand years, but the investigators attribute this migration singularly to the cold tolerances of tree species. Although the botanists are correct that cold tolerance does affect the northern limit of trees, they incorrectly attribute the migration solely to variation in climatic temperatures. This is only part of the answer. The other part lies in the in the geographic fact that creates the...(Read Full Article)

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