Studying the Farthest-North Trees
A team led by Kevin Anchukaitis of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Tree Ring Lab is currently in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, studying the effects of changing climate on trees. Ferried in by a bush pilot who landed on the tundra to drop them off, they are practically at treeline–the place where it is too far north for trees to grow. But there are still some spindly white spruces here, and they are taking cores from these, which can be used to measure weather of the past.
One member of the team is Colorado schoolteacher Susy Ellison, who is keeping a blog of the expedition. She reports some concerns about grizzly bears, mosquito hordes and other workaday matters of the far northern summer; but so far, so good.