Trees named “Tyranny and Freedom” – which tree in the photo below is the older one?

While researching for one of WUWT’s  previous posts by Caleb Shaw, which is a must read essay on the simple things that can explain tree ring records to scientists that have never actually touched the tree or understood its local growth environment, I came across this photo of two larch trees in the Kotuykan river area of Siberia, not far from the Yamal peninsula. The photographer stated that an accompanying  scientist who is familiar with the region named the two trees “Tyranny and Freedom” because of the differing situations they had been exposed to.

The question: which of the two trees below is the oldest?

Siberia2008_larch_comparison

The researchers write:

Forest ecologist Slava Kharuk called this a picture of tyranny and freedom. The trees are growing at the top of a mountain in the Siberian Traps. The climate at the location is near the limit of the coldest temperatures larch trees can tolerate. The smaller of the two trees in the foreground is many centuries older than the bigger tree.

Dr. Kharuk describes the tree on the right as living under the tyranny of colder climates of the past. It grew slowly: its form is twisted, its needles are sparse, the diameter is small, and it is not very tall. The younger tree has grown, he says, under the freedom of recent, milder climates. It is shooting up tall, straight, and full. It grows a relatively large amount each year, which results in a larger trunk diameter. (Photograph by Jon Ranson.)
Photograph of larch cones.

In the cold Siberian climate, trees reproduce slowly. These larch cones document three years of growth. The lightest, reddish cones in the foreground are this year’s cones, which are forming and have not yet released their seeds. The medium-brown cones are from last year’s growth. The darkest brown cones are fully open and spent, yet still hang tenaciously on the tree. (Photograph by Jon Ranson.)

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/siberian_larch_trees.jpg?w=720

The harsh climate of Siberia is a challenging one for Larch trees. The photo shows the fates of several trees. A tree without bark or branches leans across the center of the photo. This tree died centuries ago, but the frigid climate has kept it from decaying. In the foreground, a tree that broke at the trunk and toppled managed to survive: a side branch grew into a vigorous new tree. In front and to the right of the “reborn” tree is a small dead tree that still has branches and bark. It is an ancient tree that died recently. In its last years, it put energy into making seed. Pinecones from the previous two years still cling to its branches. (Photograph by Jon Ranson.)

Source: NASA Earth Observatory, Siberia 2008 Kotuykan River Expedition

===

While the notion of temperature differences being the driver for the trees “Tyranny and Freedom” might be valid:

Dr. Kharuk describes the tree on the right as living under the tyranny of colder climates of the past. It grew slowly: its form is twisted, its needles are sparse, the diameter is small, and it is not very tall. The younger tree has grown, he says, under the freedom of recent, milder climates.

Without looking at all of the growth factors, one can’t be certain what is the true reason for growth difference. One tree might have better access to water or more nutrients available to it. We just don’t know, anything pinning a cause without a thorough investigation of the tree health and soil is simply speculation.

The idea posed by Caleb Shaw in this previous post seems to be well illustrated by these photos:

The bristlecone records seemed a lousy proxy, because at the altitude where they grow it is below freezing nearly every night, and daytime temperatures are only above freezing for something like 10% of the year. They live on the borderline of existence, for trees, because trees go dormant when water freezes. (As soon as it drops below freezing the sap stops dripping into the sugar maple buckets.) Therefore the bristlecone pines were dormant 90% of all days and 99% of all nights, in a sense failing to collect temperature data all that time, yet they were supposedly a very important proxy for the entire planet.

Briffa_single_tree_YAD061

The 10 Briffa tree cores, YAD061 response highlighted in yellow - click for larger image

So in the case of larch trees in Siberia, how much of the time are they recording temperature? Without the proper metadata from Briffa telling us where these trees were situated, figuring out the response of trees like the now famous YAD06 is a tall order. Even with the metadata, when you find such wide variations in tree response growing next to one another, it isn’t much help. The only thing that can help is a large sample size so that individual responses like what we see in the core, YAD061, are statistically minimized in total impact.

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101 thoughts on “Trees named “Tyranny and Freedom” – which tree in the photo below is the older one?

  1. Wouldn’t you think that if the main problem of ‘tyranny’ was that it began its life in cooler climes, then why did it grow so distorted looking? To me, with all the branches growing off to the right of the tree, it looks more like what has been brought up before on wuwt (growing under a much taller tree, on its left in this case) or perhaps starting life out with in some very windy conditions. Tyranny kind of reminds me of some of the trees you see on the coast, with most of the branches on the aft side of the winds. Are winds a big factor in this part of Siberia?

  2. The effort of science includes observation. It seems [snip - wrong scientist] is willing to omit information and substitute extrapolation. We can’t tolerate a sample size of 1. The plural of anecdote is not data. If we have millions of acres of trees, we need samples spread over the area also.

  3. The younger tree seems to grow with vigor. Lets say that proves increased CO2 is measuribly beneficial. Had the earlier tree been flushed with increased CO2, it would have thrived. It is obvious my conclusions are supported by facts also. Look at the 2 trees.

  4. Speaking of trees i couldn’t help but laugh at this mystified expert :

    “Maple trees in mid-Michigan have begun turning colors about three weeks early, said Bert Cregg, professor of horticulture and forestry at Michigan State University. But no one is “quite sure what’s going on yet” with the trees, he says. Possible causes could include the accumulation of stress from previous dry years or some type of fungus or boring pest, Cregg said.”
    Article here: http://www.freep.com/article/20090929/NEWS05/909290330/1322/Maple-trees-welcome-fall-3-weeks-early

    I’m no expert but…maybe it’s just getting colder earlier than it has in recent years?

    I just had to laugh.

  5. Seriously, look at the high desert trees (brislecone pines for example) in the American Southwest. Short, twisted, scraggly. But living far longer than anything else known.

    Trees growing in gentler, easy climes such as the southeast pines pass on in much less than 200 years. Growing straight up and quickly.

    Even the Japanse bonsai trees are twisted and stunted (deliberately) in their long lives, and are not left to grow freely or easily in straight vigorous paths with plentiful nutrition and large areas for root nutrients.

  6. Well by looking at the picture it seems that the top of the main trunk was broken off at some point when the tree was young. This will cause a number of smaller, thinner branches to slit out from that point and grow upward. Nothing unusual here, I see this all the time.

  7. It would seem the direct effect to growth due to increased CO2 in the latter half of the twentieth century has been measured in these two trees…. It is the extra CO2 that has caused the better growth…. not increased temp….

  8. It might be that Slava Kharuk’s calling is to poetry and not science.

    Let’s admit Earth has been warming since the end of the last glaciation, say about 17,000 years ago, with some warming and cooling along the way. Or using the LIA as a more recent event, Earth generally has been warming since then. Still, in the last 100 years the two foreground tress and the many background trees in the photo would have shared the same temperatures. Are we to believe that only one tree experienced climatic ‘tyranny’?

    I planted two dozen Ponderosa Pines. Most are straight and tall. One repeatedly sends up two competing tops. I cut one out each year and now it is too tall for me to do that. It will now grow that way. Another is about the same height as its neighbors but has misshapen limbs. Someone suggested I take a cutting and send it to a lab for analysis. I haven’t done that so I do not know why it is not a normal looking tree. But while I can’t say what is wrong, I think I can say it is not suffering from “living under the tyranny of colder climate(s).

    I do believe many comments in recent weeks have offered explanations that go well beyond the available data. I have no problem with speculation or poetry. Keep in mind that neither are science.

  9. I suspect that the difference in growth between the two trees is not related to climate. Though I hesitate to make conclusions since the rest of the setting (outside the picture) is not shown, it appears that Tyranny has been starved of nutrients or moisture while Freedom is well nourished. By virtue of its age, the older tree has proved itself a survivor. A survivor would tend to take full advantage of any changes in climate that occurred.

    The main thing this confirms is that trees are not uniform, even when close together. So as Henry chance (above_ states, a sample of 1 is not representative.

  10. AJC (19:14:27) :

    Well by looking at the picture it seems that the top of the main trunk was broken off at some point when the tree was young. This will cause a number of smaller, thinner branches to slit out from that point and grow upward. Nothing unusual here, I see this all the time.
    ——————————————————–

    I think you may be right AJC… It has split into two main branches. An elk, bear or heavy snow load has snapped off the top when it was smaller.

  11. Not sure how you post pictures here, but on my own site I put up a picture of two trees planted the same day, that have dramatically different growth histories, and where one is now substantially higher than the other.

    One would think, looking at them, that the larger was considerably older than the smaller, but they were planted at the same time, and many years ago were the same size.

  12. I would hope trees are growing at a faster rate in the last 50 years because they have more food (CO2).. CO2 is the basic energy source for all green plants.
    A recent study in Norway claims that pine trees are growing %15 faster due to the higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  13. I just love your randomly-generated Google ads. The main Google ad for this entry reads:-

    [b]Chainsaw Training Qld
    Internationally qualified training for all levels call now 0437734836
    trainingfortrees.com.au[/b]

    I also love the way the word “McCullough” slides off the tongue…… maybe we need to fire up the McCullough, and rip into these bloody trees that have been used to confound the populace.

  14. Those of us with gardens (not pots) will have noticed seedlings planted at the same time growing at different rates even though water and sunlight access seems the same,it is odd as the commercial growers seem to get it right.
    My feeling is that the availability of the correct trace elements in correct soil moisture ph makes a big difference. I remember lectures by the Canberra Forestry people stressing how the commercial Pinus Radiata plantation here are stunted unless B and Mn are applied when they are seedlings.
    My notes are long lost but a web search of trace elements seems to lean towards research showing trees as a marker of industrial pollution. I found one by Richter and Heine that looked at trace element uptake as a factor of size…a quote….
    ” Tree uptake of B and Mn from mineral soil greatly outpaced resupplies from atmospheric deposition, mineral weathering, and deep-root uptake. (2) Extractable Zn and Cu changed little during forest growth, indicating that nutrient resupplies kept pace with accumulations by the aggrading forest. (3) Oxalate-extractable Fe increased substantially during forest growth………”
    Here, as with our P.Radiata, B and Mn seems crucial for growth and may be the elements above others that are easily depleted.
    Tyranny and Freedom, although physically close may have very different access to the correct trace elements needed for optimum growth.

  15. Also beware genetic difference, a whole hidden world even in plants.

    There are studies about this.

    The metadata on every tree should include it’s genetic profile.

  16. John F. Hultquist (19:23:35) : ,

    Your comments make me think of another reason for tree size variation. Sexual reproduction means that each tree ‘produced ‘ this way is slightly different from others of the same species even though, to us, they look the same in form.They can express that difference in height.
    I remember an important criticism of selecting the tallest, most healthy trees to fell in old forest logging is that it leaves the weaker specimens behind to reproduce.
    Tree size in a ‘Climax’ community could be a way of selecting out the weaker ones to be left behind in the understory and as a result, they have slower reproduction rate.

  17. If only the environmentalists would focus their efforts on this problem.

    Do jet planes really leave that much pollution behind them, enough to make the whole sky cloudy and gray all day as their emissions fan out, and giving off enough pollution to block out the sun? I see it quite frequently when I look up during the day.

    I notice here in SW Florida on random days, planes leaving what looks like long lines of cocaine behind them in all kinds of criss cross patterns which then fan out to ruin what would have been a beautiful sunny day. Surely there cannot be that much airline passenger traffic over our area, we are a 700 mile long peninsula. What then could be the possible cause of all this? We sell Sun here in south Florida, but there really is not that much to sell anymore due to this problem.

  18. Dr. Kharuk describes the tree on the right as living under the tyranny of colder climates of the past…The younger tree has grown, he says, under the freedom of recent, milder climates. It is shooting up tall, straight, and full…We just don’t know, anything pinning a cause without a thorough investigation of the tree health and soil is simply speculation…..The idea posed by Caleb Shaw in this previous post seems to be well illustrated….

    After reading the scientists view and Caleb’s it’s ‘well illustrated’ why regular folks don’t pay much attention to scientists.

    p.s. I am meaning scientists in general, not about all scientists. Anthony, Roy Spencer, others like, I’m not talking about you. :-)

  19. Notice all the green on the surface under the strong tree? I don’t see any such green under the other trees. Was that tree fertilized?

  20. Deborah (19:10:03) :

    “Maple trees in mid-Michigan have begun turning colors about three weeks early,” said Bert Cregg, professor….no one is “quite sure what’s going on yet”

    I think both the leaf color changing early and early cold are related to the sun. The sun has been quiet since very early 2007 (you probably already knew that about the sun though).

    And I can understand why you laughed!! You know the truth, and the truth set you free!! :-)

    p.s. have you seen the fall colors in Michigan? One of the most beautiful things in the world!

  21. Sorry but someone has to do it:

    There is unrest in the forest,
    There is trouble with the trees,
    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas.

    The trouble with the maples,
    (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
    They say the oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light.
    But the oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made.
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade.

    There was trouble in the forest,
    And the creatures all have fled,
    As the maples scream “Oppression!”
    And the oaks just shake their heads

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights.
    “The oaks are just too greedy;
    We will make them give us light.”
    Now there’s no more oak oppression,
    For they passed a noble law,
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe, and saw.

  22. It seems that many posters missed the last line of the first paragraph under the picture of the two trees. Tyranny is; MANY CENTURIES OLDER than Freedom.

  23. It is my understanding that trees changing depends on three factors:

    1. length of day
    2. amount of water available
    3. nighttime low temperatures

    Michigan has been experiencing below normal temperatures. Looking at temperatures for Lansing, low temperatures have been mostly above “average” for most of the past several weeks (but highs have been below normal). A notable exception was 31 degrees on October 1. Having a look in a more rural location (Ithaca, Mich.) shows a temperature of 28F that night. That could have been cold enough to trigger the process of shutting things down for the winter.

    Precipitation was a little below normal in September but not horribly dry with long periods of cloudy drizzly days.

    I would guess it to be due to that one very cold night getting the process started.

  24. I see now that even if we measured every ring of every tree on the planet we could not get any useful information as far as climate is concerned… even withing a forest, there are too many local factors that will affect the growth of a tree. The differences between forests in the whole world are even bigger. The study of tree rings related to past climate is totally useless and meaningless.

  25. Anything can be a Rorschach Test. It doesn’t just have to be an ink blot. Trees have been a good one this week.

  26. Caleb sums it up:

    “” yet they were supposedly a very important proxy for the entire planet.””

    One tree defines the temperature of the entire planet!

  27. In Greece there exist olive groves with very ancient trees, thousands of years old. There is a tree in Athens called “Plato’s olive tree” because it is in the area where Plato’s academy was.
    Anecdotal observation:
    Sometimes you see one old tree in the grove growing twisted in a helical pattern. My father said that when dug up, the roots have the opposite helicity: the tree is trying to grow straight because the root found rock underneath and started twisting around it: conservation of angular momentum, I thought as a physicist :).

    so the stunted and turning tree might also have rock under it?

    REPLY: which would mean less available soil and nutrients if mostly rock underneath -A

  28. “Gene Nemetz (20:53:47) :
    p.s. have you seen the fall colors in Michigan? One of the most beautiful things in the world!”

    I lived there for nearly 4 decades. Some of the most wonderful sketches I’ve made were while on galavants to northern Michigan.

    Do you suppose that the MSU prof maybe doesn’t get outside enough? Maybe he should play more in the dirt like the rest of us gardeners. There is certainly more to a plant than what you find in a lab ;)

  29. When you have only two trees to compare it shouldn’t be “The question: which of the two trees below is the oldest?” but “The question: which of the two trees below is older?” or “The question: which of the two trees below is the elder?”

  30. The loblolly pine I planted in Texas a decade ago are now about 30 feet tall. With fast growing pine, you can guess the age by looking at the gaps between the growth nodes. That is, each spring, the top tip of the main trunk puts out a new set of horizontal branches.

  31. crosspatch (21:24:47) :
    It is my understanding that trees changing…

    Last i saw, you aren’t a tree. I would think that a living thing with a life span into the hundreds of years would know how to deal with climate better than you would.

    You said: Precipitation was a little below normal in September but not horribly dry with long periods of cloudy drizzly days.

    So I am assuming that you actually live in Michigan. Michigan is a strange land mass. Surrounded by deep fresh water. Climate should be looked at with that in mind. I notice that NOAA doesn’t monitor the Great Lake’s temperatures. I wonder why. Could it be because it gives a more true thermometer to how the sun affects the earths temps? The weatherman love to talk about lake effect snows, but they are only available if the summer heated the lakes. If the lakes freeze over, there will no lake effect snowfall. And no ground moisture absorbtion.

    The low cloud mist that crosspatch talks about is very common in Michigan. It is also the cloud types caused by low solar activity that opens up our planet to galactical influences. How does one distinguish the two?????

    I would have loved to have enjoyed this past Michigan summer…it had to have been great. As a tourist of course, not as a farmer. The growing season has shortened, the economy is going into the pits of hell, but the Warmist continue to tell us that heat is bad.

  32. Gene Nemetz (21:33:15) :
    gtrip (21:08:49) :

    Did a creative mind under Russian Communism write that?

    Nope. Just some Canadian punks that had a Rock and Roll band. Kind of amazing were sense can come from nowadays eh?

  33. Deborah (19:10:03) :

    Speaking of trees i couldn’t help but laugh at this mystified expert :

    “Maple trees in mid-Michigan have begun turning colors about three weeks early, said Bert Cregg, professor of horticulture and forestry at Michigan State University. But no one is “quite sure what’s going on yet” with the trees, he says. Possible causes could include the accumulation of stress from previous dry years or some type of fungus or boring pest, Cregg said.”
    Article here: http://www.freep.com/article/20090929/NEWS05/909290330/1322/Maple-trees-welcome-fall-3-weeks-early

    I’m no expert but…maybe it’s just getting colder earlier than it has in recent years?

    I just had to laugh.

    The evidence doesn’t fit the dominant paradigm/narrative – so he can’t explain it, or interpret it in terms relevant to the evidence.

    I.e. he can’t believe his lying eyes.

  34. Evidence!!! Evidence!!!! We don’t need no stinken Evidence.

    The cold winter we are about to see will be blamed on Global Warming. Mark his words!

  35. I have spent some time growing Bonsais and the tree on the right resembles a natural Bonsai. What this takes is a constraining of the root structure. In the cultivated Bonsai this is achieved by restricting the root growth (cutting the roots) and then limiting the space in which the roots can grow by restricting the size of the pot. Bonsais also occur naturally and the features of naturally occurring Bonsais is that the tree has germinated in a basin shaped rock formation where the roots are restricted from free growth. This also restricts both the nutrients and the water the tree has available to grow. It has little if anything to do with atmospheric temperatures and much more to do with physical restriction of the roots.

  36. The low cloud mist that crosspatch talks about is very common in Michigan. It is also the cloud types caused by low solar activity that opens up our planet to galactical influences. How does one distinguish the two?????

    My first inclination is that cloudiness associated with cosmic ray activity probably wouldn’t be localized to central Michigan. There should be a general, global increase in such clouds. I haven’t seen anything yet reported on general global cloud cover or Earth albedo recently so I can’t say either way.

    And no, I live in California and was looking at weather records for the area over the past several weeks.

  37. Anyone who’s spent time at higher elevations – of wind whipped ridges, blankets of snow, and a short growing season; and admiring the twisted and contorted conifer’s that eke out survival in those, fully understands you can have a tree that will be 150′ tall with a massive trunk in generous conditions, but only 15′ tall and *very* twisted under harsh conditions, despite being five centuries older.

    I didn’t need the caption to tell me which was older – it was quite clear just by looking at them.

  38. Deborah (19:10:03) :

    Speaking of trees i couldn’t help but laugh at this mystified expert :

    “Maple trees in mid-Michigan have begun turning colors about three weeks early, said Bert Cregg, professor of horticulture and forestry at Michigan State University. But no one is “quite sure what’s going on yet” with the trees, he says. Possible causes could include the accumulation of stress from previous dry years or some type of fungus or boring pest, Cregg said.”
    Article here: http://www.freep.com/article/20090929/NEWS05/909290330/1322/Maple-trees-welcome-fall-3-weeks-early

    I’m no expert but…maybe it’s just getting colder earlier than it has in recent years?

    I just had to laugh.

    ~~~~

    Last year, we had fall color and the tree’s were bare by the middle of Novemeber. Short of planting trees that will easily give color up, we do NOT have fall color. Generally, they to straight to brown, die, and fall off the tree – usually by December. There was recently a local article published about a woman expressing concern her Norwegian draft-type horses started getting their winter coats weeks earlier than normal. She even contacted her vet to examine them thinking they were ill. She contacted owners in the area with the same breed and learned their horses were also getting their winter coats weeks earlier than normal. Animals don’t subscribe to AGW – perhaps they know something and are worth watching. ;-)

  39. “Tyranny” most likely started life as a seedling deep in a rock crevice, probably where just enough detrius and moisture collected to allow it to sprout. Its early growth was restricted by the rock until its roots grew thick enough to crack it. Once that happened, “Tyranny” received some additional moisture and nutrients, allowing it to grow a bit more, and eventually its roots weakened the rock and its trunk widened enough to split the rock entirely.

    Rationale:

    1. “Tyranny’s” trunk is growing at an angle, which means its early growth was physically restricted, and

    2. there’s a honking big chunk of rock leaning against the base of the trunk.

    Buuuuuuut, I could be wrong.

  40. I can’t believe no one has said it yet:

    “How to recognise trees from quite a long way away.
    Number 1, the larch… the larch”

  41. crosspatch (22:49:57) : no, I live in California and was looking at weather records for the area over the past several weeks.

    Hmmmm. Weather/climate from afar eh? Michigan is a perfect example of where the”weather” is going. Lake effect warming is much larger than oceanic warming….locally I mean. Lake Superior is large, deep, and cold. Why not monitor that? I have tried doing so but only get fishing reports….go figure, people just living.

    Why Michigan? Why Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron, and Lake Superior? Because of Glaciers!!!! Big, Big Glaciers. Push, pull, push pull, push, pull…..that is what glaciers do. There is a picture of some glacier receding and they make I look like the earth is doomed. But it left behind a lake, not as big bu just the same as the Great Lakes.

  42. Tom Hall (20:38:31) :

    Maybe the one tree just has a parasite of some kind.

    The Pine Beetle and certain species of bee are parasitic to some trees.

  43. Phillip Bratby (22:10:10) :

    When you have only two trees to compare it shouldn’t be “The question: which of the two trees below is the oldest?” but … “The question: which of the two trees below is the elder?”

    Answer: Neither. They are both larch!

  44. OK, let’s accept for a second the whole Hockey Stick and Treemometer ideas. Then, where is the growth spike of the older tree? It apparently grew in the same warm and gentle conditions as the younger tree in the recent past, so it should exhibit the hockey stick shaped increase in growth – which it doesn’t.

  45. Lightining strikes are very common, and the evidence is also plain to see on most trees over 200 years old, in scars , dead branches, and misshapen growth.

    Then there are the birds. I have often wondered why single Oak trees tend to have very ‘jaggy’ branches with lots of sharp angles; perhaps idea for knee-timbers for houses and ships. But, nearby Oaks growing in close woodland have lovely straight limbs, ideal for beams and planks.

    I found the answer when looking our of my study window observing the behaviour of the rooks in early spring (instead of getting on with my work). The rooks went to the lone Oaks to peck off the first-growth twigs coming out of the terminal buds, to make their nests! So, if the terminal buds are pecked off, the growth will transfer to the next shoot which is at an angle, and ‘as the twig is bent, so grows the tree’ and you can see the jaggy shapes even in the heavy boughs and sometimes in the trunk itself.

    What clinched it for me is that the birds make their nests in the top-growth of the nearby Oaks in the close woodland, which they do not ‘vandalise’ for nesting material.

  46. Michael (20:32:35) :
    I notice here in SW Florida on random days, planes leaving what looks like long lines of cocaine behind them in all kinds of criss cross patterns which then fan out to ruin what would have been a beautiful sunny day. Surely there cannot be that much airline passenger traffic over our area, we are a 700 mile long peninsula. What then could be the possible cause of all this? We sell Sun here in south Florida, but there really is not that much to sell anymore due to this problem.

    Those are vapor trails, Michael — they’re composed of minute ice crystals formed when an aircraft’s engine exhaust (which is *hot*) undergoes rapid cooling at altitude. Water vapor in the exhaust plume is condensed, then frozen. Depending on the amount of water vapor in the air and the winds aloft, they’ll either dissipate rapidly or hang around for hours. You live in SW Florida, so my guess is that you’re around the Fort Myers area — between US airliners heading to and from the Yucatan and Central America, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and South America, there are probably 30 flights per day right over your house. Add the national airlines of our neighbors down south heading to hubs in Miami, Charlotte, Atlanta, Philly and JFK/Newark, and you’ll have another dozen, although not all of them will be directly overhead.

    While vapor trails aren’t usually numerous or thick enough to blot out the sun, any ice crystals which don’t sublimate at the lower altitudes could serve as condensation nuclei for cloud formation, especially in air as moist as that in south Florida.

  47. The gnarled tree ‘Tyrany’ was once in a great forrest, shaded by light and stunted in growth, until the loggers came along and destroyed the forrest – so ‘Freedom’ gained its freedom.

    .

  48. I have just replaced a beam in the roof of my house, it is oak, placed in the roof when the house was built in 0900, 0918 (documents available on request) in Italy. the diameter of the good pieces left are plus minus 28″ FedEx anyone?

  49. Not all seedlings grow evenly. Some are runts without any good reason.

    To me the tree on the right looks like it’s been damaged several times in its life. Perhaps a strong wind or harsh winter soon after germinating stunted it.

  50. The tree on the right in the “tyrrany and freedom” photo has obviously suffered some mechanical damage in the past. Otherwise it would have one central leader, like the tree on the left.

  51. I have a tree in my front yard that is about 10 years old. It went through some stress one year where the main leader died and now it is bushy and spindly. Tyranny looks to me like it either was hit by lightning, or the main leader was somehow broken. Liberty is progressing normally with the main leader intact.

    It is just a guess though. The trunk where the branches diverge looks like a stress point to me. All of the trees in the background look like Liberty as well.

  52. I have noticed that the way people look at the same image, (whether it be Alaskan polar bears, Greenland caribou, or Siberian larch, seems to involve more subjectivity than objectivity, and in some ways resembles a Rorshock Test.

    Suppose you showed 100 people an ink blot, and 99 said it looked like a butterfly, and 1 said it looked like Dolly Parton. What would you conclude about the one person?

    I don’t know about you, but I’d conclude the one person thought a lot of Dolly Parton.

    Next suppose the one person said the reason they thought of Dolly Parton was because they were like Galileo and everyone else was ignorant. What would you conclude?

    I don’t know about you, but I’d conclude they were closing their mind to what 99 people have to offer.

    Last, suppose you turned to get something, but happened to glance in a mirror on the far wall. Suppose you noticed that, as soon as your back was turned, the person whipped out a black magic marker, and made the ink blot look much more like Dolly Parton. What would you conclude?

    I don’t know about you, but I’d conclude the person was making what Climate Scientists call “an adjustment.”

    If you replace the words “Dolly Parton” with the words “Global Warming,” then I believe the above describes the absurd situation we find ourselves in.

    Social Science is lots of fun, but dependes too heavily on subjectivity. If we really want the truth, we need objectivity.

  53. AlexB (00:06:53) :

    I can’t believe no one has said it yet:

    “How to recognise trees from quite a long way away.
    Number 1, the larch… the larch”

    That’s all I could think about when I read that they were using “Larches” for treemometers !!! The entire episode from Briffa is akin to a Python sketch !!

  54. Their is obviously something wrong with the tree, Tyranny. If everything about it were identical to Freedom, except it being older, then as soon as the climate changed, it would have taken off and grown much larger. It would have had a huge head start on the Freedom tree and Freedom would have never been able to catch up. Therefore, it’s fairly reasonable to conclude that something is stunting the growth of Tyranny, be it water, nutrients, fungus, previous damage, etc.

    DoctorJJ

  55. “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine”

    From that great comedy duo Stan “The Briffa” Laurel and Oliver “Captain Mann” Hardy.

    I thought this would be a good banner headline if you or Steve were able to convince a national paper to run the story, or even the title for an investigative tv program exposing the whole climate sham.

    I have it on very good authority from that most esteemed of online encyclopaedias Wikipedia that the Larch is from the family Pinaceae. Wikepedia also states that “It (Siberian Larch) is faster-growing than many other coniferous trees in cold regions, but requires full sunlight,” as you suggested in an earlier post, so that if Yad06 suddenly became exposed to more sunlight at the turn of the last century, perhaps by a large neighbour falling down, then a major inflection could occur on the growth curve.

    Colin Porter (Average Joe)

  56. I have seen trees shredded by wildlife while cleaning the velvet off their horns, does this area host caribou?

    What about disease or pine beetles?

    One big pile of bear crap would be a boon for a tree in such barren soil.

  57. As the tree on the right is many centuries older than the fine specimen on the left, what happened to all of its coevals? If they had all been as healthy as the left one, how big would they be now? And IF we assume that they are now dead and can be found in the bog, what can we possibly learn from the comparison of ring thicknesses between them and the living ‘runt’ … in other words, between trees in the same area?

    And having just comeback form a walk in the local woods where a recent felling of a plantation of fifty-year-old corsican pines has been replanted, I was struck by the considerable differences in height among the newly planted saplings in what must be their second year of growth.

    And looking at the stumps of the old crop, the radial variance in tree-ring thicknesses of individual stumps, and whole diameters of adjacent stumps, was also huge. And all this in a properly kept crop in a small area, that had ostensibly been managed for homogeneity.

  58. Liberty like grandma is weathered and bent
    against the force of decades struggling spent
    Freedom stands near her great grandson his
    life spans been short in comparison.
    He knows all the stories knows all about the
    years before when blood was without.
    His knowledge and learning are indeed impressive
    his world view more progressive.
    Liberty is saddened for she knows the truth
    True understandings price is your youth.

  59. The younger tree has grown, he says, under the freedom of recent, milder climates. It is shooting up tall, straight, If this were true, why didn’t the dwarfed tree benefit from the same enhanced environment, warmer. It was more mature, and should be just waiting for optimal conditions to shoot up when ‘better’ growing conditions arrive.

  60. Okay, I can weigh in on this one. I, too, have cut many thousands of trees. I worked my teens and twenties for the power company in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas. I cut new 30 foot (and sometimes 60 foot) right-of-ways through the middle of virgin oak forest. I can attest that sometimes 50 year old red oak trees were notably smaller than 20 year old oak trees nearby. Looking at the rings for recent years, those rings nearest the outer edge, sometimes trees shared width and sometimes they did not. I was taught in school that tree rings could tell the story of climate. But I’d debunked that theory long before I ever came to WUWT or ever heard about “global warming.”

    Among a variety of growth hazards trees have pests, and they react differently to these pests from one tree to the next. For instance I have two magnolia trees in my front yard. They have both been badgered by a yellow-bellied sap sucker, they bear the telltale rings of holes everywhere. But one magnolia is suffering badly whereas the other is flourishing. I’ve never seen a magnolia with so many blooms! The “ugly” tree has not grown at all in the years that I have owned this home, it is about one third the size of the healthy tree. The sap sucker is long gone and one tree is recovering – the other is not. The trees are approximately 100 feet apart. Are you ready for this? Keep reading…

    I recently got in contact with the previous owner of my home. He had pictures of my house and when he built the adjoining garage (where the healthy tree is growing) Well, the ugly tree is evident, the same size and shape as it is currently. The healthy tree? Not there. It hadn’t sprouted yet. So I can assert that the healthy larger tree is younger than the smaller unhealthy tree. Is it the warmer climate bringing about a more ideal environment?

    Here’s my assessment. The sap sucker butchered the older magnolia, stunting it’s growth and degrading it’s health while it was still quite a young tree. Meanwhile the younger magnolia took root 100 feet away. As it grew the sap sucker (or an additional one) began to feed on it. Then Gary moved in WITH HIS TWO LOUD AND BOISTEROUS DOGS and the sap sucker (or suckers) went away before the second magnolia could be greatly damaged. The younger now flourishes whereas the older is on it’s way to a slow and silent death. I wish I could show a picture. The younger tree’s trunk is many times as thick as the older’s trunk.

    Surely it was environment that effected these two trees. My guess is that temperature took a back seat to birds in this instance. And there many other pests besides mere birds: beetles, ants, fungus, worms, moths, and… uh… what’s the other one? Uh… yeah, termites!

  61. The photo seems to show a clearing. If this type of tree has been growing nearby for centuries, why is there a clearing? Anything which can force an open space can slow or damage a tree. Or maybe conditions here are fine for these trees, but the surrounding forest was recently destroyed and Tyranny is merely a crippled old survivor.

    supercritical (03:04:31) – I suspect the birds fly into a lone oak because it’s easier to fly into a tree which doesn’t have another tree blocking the flight path.

    Fred Lightfoot (04:04:40) – Check if there is a dendrochronologist in Italy that would like part of your old beam. A couple of quick looks reveals there is an Italian Institute of Dendrochronology, Verona, Italy. You might try looking for papers involving your part of Italy (tree rings central Italy, etc) to try to find an active researcher who’s working on material in your area.

  62. “Hmmmm. Weather/climate from afar eh? ”

    If I were sitting in Lansing, I would have looked up exactly the same weather records. It wouldn’t matter where I was physically accessing them from.

    “Lake Superior is large, deep, and cold. Why not monitor that?”

    It is monitored. I just can’t remember where to locate the information right now. Water temperatures, clarity, lake levels, etc. are monitored.

    This winter’s ice cover will be interesting to watch on the Great Lakes too. The Canadian Ice Service has the best data on that front.

  63. Another indication of a constraint on “Tyranny” is the angle at which the main trunk is growing below the first branches. That tilt may be due to a struggle for light in the early stages of growth. The manner in which it leans suggests that it was shaded early on. I’ve a Chinese Elm in my front yard with a similar inclination due to light competition early in life from a red plum. It quickly outgrew the red plum but by that time the entire tree’s structure had been distorted. While it is now of respectable size, the branching growth tends to result in odd branches shooting off in long straight lines away from the inclination of the trunk. These apparently help offset the structural problems of earlier growth by relocating mass to reduce mechanical strain in the root system.

  64. I have three arborvitae grouped 7′oc in my yard which I planted 26 years ago. They are still of the exact same height relative to each other as when I planted them and are very well and estimate they have quadrupled in height. I also have three red cedars grouped 8′oc in my yard which I planted — 12′+/- in height when I did — 24 years ago and they are doing poorly due to recurring disease but also due to the propensity of a “wet feet” and heavy soil problem and they have less than doubled in size but all have the same relative height.

    I have four larches I planted. One is the original I planted 23 years ago and three are replants. They are all 25′ oc almost exactly east to west. When I replanted five years after, the original was 15′ and the replants were 6′. They’ve all been watered and fertilized the same as it relates to maintaining the lawn. Two of the replants (one was topped by about two feet by either a kid or deer and two leaders took over) are now about 5′ taller — the topped one the tallest) than the original and the other is just slightly shorter.

    The difference — they are all in heavy silt — as far as I can tell is that I had to take a lot of rocks out of the hole for the original and there were still several large ones at the perimeter and bottom that were too large to bother with. The largest two are very near utility trenches with gravel backfill.

    Anyway, I find it interesting that the tree on the right hasn’t re-established a leader since the tree to the right began to grow. I can’t tell if the one to the right had lost it’s leader before but the way the lowest branches leave the trunk hints to me it might have way back when. Is it growing on seriously deficient ground? Are there such a thing as mutant trees? Do trees lose their natural affinity for the way they grow after many years of strife — no resumption of a main leader and no springing back to normal growth that other nearby trees exhibit?

    And another thing, in my noting my limited and isolated experience with larches, the thought occurred to me that the difference between my original and the replants might be the variety of the species, in other words, they might be of a better strain of tree. What is the history of the area? Was there a fire, a harvesting or something else that might account for there not being a lot more trees in the field behind? Might the tree on the right been planted and not of the indigenous stock?

    There are a lot more questions for which answers are needed before one can just assert the difference in the tree growth is just age and temperature changes.

  65. fishhead (18:58:06) :
    Wouldn’t you think that if the main problem of ‘tyranny’ was that it began its life in cooler climes, then why did it grow so distorted looking? To me, with all the branches growing off to the right of the tree, it looks more like what has been brought up before on wuwt (growing under a much taller tree, on its left in this case) or perhaps starting life out with in some very windy conditions. Tyranny kind of reminds me of some of the trees you see on the coast, with most of the branches on the aft side of the winds. Are winds a big factor in this part of Siberia?

    If necessary, I can produce evidence that all external factors influence plant growth. To wit:

    CONCLUSION
    This article presents the effect of a single controlled
    bending on the diameter growth of young poplars
    and on the expression of a mechanosensitive gene,
    PtaZFP2. The results showed that a single transitory
    bending was sufficient to modify plant diameter
    growth for several days. Bending first stopped diameter
    growth, the diameter growth rate then increased for
    several days, and finally it returned to basal values.

    http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/reprint/151/1/223?

  66. Maybe there were more earthquakes years ago?

    Influence of Seismic Stress on Photosynthetic Productivity, Gas Exchange, and Leaf Diffusive Resistance of Glycine max (L.) Merrill cv Wells
    Thalia Pappas2 and Cary A. Mitchell
    Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
    Relative growth rate (RGR), leaf water potential (w), transpiration rate (Tr), photosynthetic rate (Pn), and stomatal and mesophyll resistances to CO2 exchange were measured or calculated to determine how periodic seismic (shaking) stress decreased dry weight accumulation by soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merrill cv Wells II). Seismic stress was applied with a gyratory shaker at 240 to 280 revolutions per minute for 5 minutes three times daily at 0930, 1430, and 1930 hours. Fifteen days of treatment decreased stem length 21%, leaf area 17%, and plant dry weight 18% relative to undisturbed plants.

  67. RE:

    Tyranny is, of course, much older. 8<)

    Freedom is a relatively new concept, and even it might not last much longer.

    The Russian penchant for metaphor is fascinating, especially with regard to sweeping social movement.

    Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago titles his second chapter “A History of Our Sewage Disposal System”, about the sweeping purges to forced labor and prison camps in the North. Trying to recall something of the landscapes he refers to (there may have been more detail in One Day in the Life…), I ended up slogging back through large parts of the largely internal, claustrophobic story of his imprisonment and his impressions of the catastrophic waste of human life, flushed away to Siberia.

  68. I have to admit that Michael stumped me, since I don’t know what “long lines of cocaine” look like.

  69. I’ve been thinking. If these examples of Siberian Larch are at the very border of its range, then an especially severe winter would put them “across the border,” and perhaps kill the trees. However what would be more likely to happen would be that the top three quarters of the tree would be killed by the cold, while the lower quarter would be protected by deep snow and survive. (I’ve seen this happen to many southern plants which people attempt to grow north of their range, in New Hampshire.)

    If you look at the older tree “Tyranny” you’ll note the trunk forks about a quarter of the way up, as if the top of the tree was killed at some point, and it had to start growing new leader-shoots from the surviving lower branches.

    What happened to the dead top of the tree? I’m just guessing, but it might be that piece of dead wood laying at the foot of the younger tree “Freedom.”

    In other words, the same thing could happen to “Freedom,” if this coming winter was especially cold. The top would be dead, and it would have to start new “leader-shoots” from the lower branches. In a couple hundred years it might look very much like “Tyranny.”

    Just an idea.

  70. Hmm. Looks like poor, rocky soil from here as opposed to an area cleared by logging. The turf looks frost and / or animal damaged, although I’d have to look more closely to be sure and the photo isn’t high enough definition to tell.

  71. One tree grew in the “little iceage” and one grew in the current warm period, doesnt seem to contraversial!

    It merely demonstrates it was colder a few hundred years ago and says nothing about longer timescales, no one argues it hasnt warmed since them a little.

    Interesting though that the tree on the right has not burst into life with the warmer climate that helps the other? Is there sometthing else limiting its growth, is it in a patch of rocky soil restricting its root mass? Has the other tree simply not been alive long enough yet to learn its lesson, daring to grow tall and bushy in such an area!

  72. Bill Tuttle (03:11:37) :
    ——————
    Michael (20:32:35) :
    I notice here in SW Florida on random days, planes leaving what looks like long lines of cocaine behind them in all kinds of criss cross patterns which then fan out to ruin what would have been a beautiful sunny day. Surely there cannot be that much airline passenger traffic over our area, we are a 700 mile long peninsula. What then could be the possible cause of all this? We sell Sun here in south Florida, but there really is not that much to sell anymore due to this problem.
    ——————–
    Those are vapor trails, Michael — they’re composed of minute ice crystals formed when an aircraft’s engine exhaust (which is *hot*) undergoes rapid cooling at altitude. Water vapor in the exhaust plume is condensed, then frozen.

    ———————

    Not just from the water vapor in the exhaust. For contrails to form the Relative Humidity in the layer of air must be above 86%. Usually at that high humidity clouds will already have formed. However if there are not enough hygroscopic nuclei (pure air so to speak) no clouds will form. The humidity can even get above 100% if the air is pure enough (it’s called super-saturated air). All you need to form contrails at that point is the addition of nuclei. (of course the water vapor in the exhausts helps also).

    My point is that the moisture is already there to form the clouds, all it needs it something to get it started. I have watched the contrail from one plane start the process until cirrus covered the entire sky.

  73. Caleb (10:58:13) :

    I’ve been thinking. If these examples of Siberian Larch are at the very border of its range, then an especially severe winter would put them “across the border,” and perhaps kill the trees. However what would be more likely to happen would be that the top three quarters of the tree would be killed by the cold, while the lower quarter would be protected by deep snow and survive. (I’ve seen this happen to many southern plants which people attempt to grow north of their range, in New Hampshire.)

    I think you may have hit the nail on the head. If you or someone could produce some pictures to back this up, I’d love to see them.

  74. Does Briffa do analysis across samples or the differential ring thickness analysis on each sample independently? If it’s the former, then the data is just random nonsense. If it’s the latter, as I expect it is, then the data is based on each individual tree’s growth patterns. It doesn’t matter, then, what the orientation of the tree is or the mix of nutrients it happens to be feeding on, as long as its conditions are relatively uniform except for the one Briffa is trying to proxy — the ambient temperature.

    In the case of the 2 trees in the photo, it doesn’t matter what they look like. The growth rates with in their own ring sets should show fairly similar differentials, where a ring from year X is, for example, 50% thicker than the ring from year X-1, correcting for the rings distortion with age and growth.

    So it isn’t a particularly relevant or fair example.

  75. Michael I (22:49:39) :
    What an absurd level of prejudice Dr. Kharuk shows in attributing this common juxtaposition! The restricted root system Michael suggests is the first and most obvious explanation, but it will not get you published and more research grants!

  76. Gene Nemetz (21:33:15) :

    “gtrip (21:08:49) :”
    “Did a creative mind under Russian Communism write that?”

    The song “The Trees” … by my favorite group Rush

  77. It is cocaine trails in the sky that Michael sees. This is why so many people seem out of “it” on certain days. Also pilots make so much money they just have to give some of their coke to less fortunate people.
    Good Grief! Coke trails–give me a break.

  78. Well Andrew Revkin, at NYT has jumped into the Steve Macintyre critique of these siberian results, nad suddenly Real Climate is being touted as a source for science dialog.

    Once again we have the tyranny of authority to deal with. If you are not the author of at least three peer reviewed solutions to Fermat’s last theorem, you have no standing to present criticism of any other solution.

    Of course Fermat’s last theorem has now been proved; but it is a sure bet that the existing only known proof is most certainly NOT Fermat’s proof of Fermat’s last theorem; which evidently was so simple, that he didn’t even write it down; but merely asserted that he had proved the conjecture.

    Well climate science is a melange of many common scientific and mathematical diciplines, and anyone with expertise in any of those subjects is more than capable of presenting sound scientific arguments, about aspects that fall into his/er realm of expertise; and establishing credibility does not require attempting to duplicate the work being criticised or doing similar data collection to present a different view.

    Those who question Steve Macintyre’s results regarding the Siberian tree rings should address their criticisms to his data and methodology, and not to his persona.

  79. Does Real Climate heavily censor comments? Just curious because my first comment regarding Briffa was never posted. My second attempt just went in… waiting.

  80. Steve M,

    Sorry. The only picture I had was the one above, which I magnified as best I could on my computer.

    Personally I’d like to roam that landscape, to see if there were other trees like “Tyranny,” which lost their original leader shoot and had to develop forks. Then the next step would be to see if they lost their tops at the same time. If “Tyranny” is 200 years older than “Freedom,” it was alive back in the Little Ice Age, and perhaps there was a particularly bad winter back then.

    Or a particularly bad ice storm. Or a particularly bad infestation of leader-shoot beetles. Or particularly bad what-have-you.

    One thing I’m curious about is what actually defines the tree-line. The above post states, “The climate at the location is near the limit of the coldest temperatures larch trees can tolerate,” which suggests the tree-line is defined by winter cold. However, while shoveling the stable today, I was wondering if what kills the trees might be the fact summers get so cold the trees can’t grow at all. Does anyone know?

    It is interesting to note there are skeletons of Siberian Larch north of the current tree-line, (and also skeletons of Bristlecone Pine above the current tree-line,) which suggests a past that was warmer than today’s climate.

    While driving home three goats that escaped and appeared in a backyard a mile away, this evening, I found myself wondering about how swiftly the tree-line advances, during a climate optimum. (Pines move into abandoned hayfields very quickly, in New Hampshire.)

    WUWT gets me wondering about such things. It’s great to hear the ponderings of other thinkers. Even if I only am able to check out this site five minutes a day, I can spend hours musing about the subjects brought up.

    Isn’t it amazing that I, and many other contributors, are able to do this without a penny of grant money? In fact, going unpaid seems to make the contributors here freer than people who, beholden to patrons, or else seeking patrons, must limit their wondering in order to fit a preconceived result.

  81. Well I give up on RC… they don’t post serious questions about the Briffa paper it seems. They don’t appear to like the wrong kind of scrutiny.

    Good to see you around Caleb – keep up the grey matter exercise… you post some interesting questions.

  82. When bull pines top out, they stop growing. Even in rainy years. If you don’t cut em, they eventually fall down. A topped out bull pine has a bushy spread at the top instead of a main leader. Makes a good platform for an eagles nest though.

  83. Richard Patton (12:55:27) :

    Bill Tuttle (03:11:37) :
    Those are vapor trails, Michael — they’re composed of minute ice crystals formed when an aircraft’s engine exhaust (which is *hot*) undergoes rapid cooling at altitude. Water vapor in the exhaust plume is condensed, then frozen.
    ———————
    Not just from the water vapor in the exhaust. For contrails to form the Relative Humidity in the layer of air must be above 86%.

    Good catch, Richard — my sentence was badly-worded. Water vapor in the air *surrounding* the exhaust plume forms most of the contrail.

  84. As a complete non science, non statistics person, it would seem to me that when measuring anything, the bigger the sample you take measurements from, the more accurate your conclusions will be. Because outlying readings get less weight in a larger sample. Why is something as important as this based on a handful of trees? Surely it should be thousands?

  85. ******
    Caleb (20:13:26) :

    While driving home three goats that escaped and appeared in a backyard a mile away, this evening, I found myself wondering about how swiftly the tree-line advances, during a climate optimum. (Pines move into abandoned hayfields very quickly, in New Hampshire.)
    *******

    Caleb, look at this article on Pielke Sr’s site:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2006/07/12/open-arctic-ocean-commentary-by-harvey-nichols-professor-of-biology/

    A very good past-climate analysis by an accomplished biologist. The rate of advancement can apparently be very quick.

  86. beng: Your link does not work (for me at least). Possibly too long ago (2006)?

    Do you have any other? I tried the title with Nichols on Google Scholar and it only turned up an abstract.

  87. FWIW, I’ve repeatedly had more plants “started” than I could “plant out”. The inevitable result is that some of the “starts” had their roots reach the edge of the pot and were forced to stop growing for a bit. When then planted out, they often refuse to fully ‘restart’. It is as though once the switch shifted to “runt mode’ it can not switch back.

    My speculation would be that ‘a few centuries ago’ something very inhospitable was happening that caused the older tree to be ‘runted’ and it just never recovered, even when times changed to a nicer environment. I don’t think it is possible to say if it was cold, water, shade, rocky soil, nutrient limits. The process would be the same and the results the same in all the cases.

    It could be as simple as which tree is closest to the bear den so when a bear takes a potty break it hits the nearer trees and not this one. Bear deliver most of the nitrogen into many forests via munching salmon that they carry into the woods and dumping in the woods a bit later. The most attractive “bear tree’ will get a LOAD more nutrients…

    I saw a study in Pacific coast Canada, IIRC, that measured this effect and found the total N delivered was about the same as professional forest managers would apply for maximal tree growth.

  88. Beng,

    Thanks for the links.

    I wish America had spent a little less grant money on computer models, and a bit more on sending guys up to look at arctic driftwood, 20 years ago. I think we could learn a lot about the swings of arctic climate from such study.

    It is neat that the beaches have been in some ways preserved by being isostatically lifted. They are just sitting up there, with driftwood in the gravel, waiting for reserchers who don’t mind mosquitoes and cold summer weather.

    It is very interesting to consider the fact that the first people we know of, who wandered the shores of the arctic long ago, found so much driftwood along the arctic beaches that they were able to heat and cook with it.

    The first energy crisis must have been when that driftwood was all used up.

  89. E M Smith

    I’ve noticed the exact same thing with broccoli seedlings. If they sit in the “six pack” too long they are runts, even if you give them extra fertilizer after planting them, and you wind up with a tiny head of broccoli. Sometimes it is better to just plant seeds, for seeds can shoot up, and often surpass the growth of the “runt” seedling.

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