Old oaks point to root of global warming

November 3, 2000

Oak trees near the queen's estate at Sandringham will assist Swansea University's geography department in investigating global warming. The department has received Pounds 34,000 from the Leverhulme Trust to identify climate change using the oaks.

By measuring the width, density and chemistry of the trees, it is possible to reconstruct past environmental change.

The oak samples from East Anglia will be dated and divided into three sections for analysis. The first will be analysed in its raw form, cellulose will be studied from the second and lignin from the third. Results will be compared with meteorological data to try to identify climatic associations.

Project leader Danny McCarroll said: "Tree rings represent valuable archives that extend backwards through time, way beyond the period for which reliable instrumental records exist."

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