|Tree number One, affectionately known as "An Old Friend," had its life suddenly taken as it was cut down during the winter of 1998-1999.
"We peered into its soul and found it contained the clear expression of climate we were looking for," commented Dr. Jacoby.
It was a whirlwind road to the top for One. The height of its glory occurred when it was featured in an article in the journal 'Science.' This article, (Jacoby, G.J., R.D. D'Arrigo, Ts. Davaajamts, 1996. Mongolian tree rings and 20th-century warming. Science, 273, 771-773), identified long-term rising temperatures for the Tarvagatay Mountains region previously described at the Northern Hemisphere latitudinal treeline.
"I was thrilled and felt extremely fortunate to play an important role in the debate on Global warming" exclaimed One during an interview after publication of the Science paper.
Upon discovery of Number One's untimely passing, Dr. Jacoby lamented that "One was just beginning to prosper in the warmer climate despite being over 500 years old. There were so many things One could have taught us." More importantly, Jacoby felt devastated over the loss of a good friend.
One is survived by a young and vigorous forest that is today reaching higher elevations than Number One could have possibly imagined, although One indicated the potential for high elevation aspirations.
"There were stories handed down by our elders of ancient ones living closer to the top of the hill," said One in the 1996 interview. Perhaps One's descendants will attain such heights.
LAMONT-DOHERTY EARTH OBSERVATORY OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.
PALISADES, NEW YORK 10964
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Last Updated: October, 1999 (Neil)