Tree growth depends upon local conditions such as water availability.
Because the amount of water available to the tree varies from year to year, scientists can use tree-ring patterns to reconstruct regional patterns of drought and climatic change.
This version of our tree ring simulation replaces an earlier version that used the Flash plugin.
If you need to reference that earlier version, click here.
Example: Warm Temperatures Plenty of Rainfall = Standards: MS.
Drought or a severe winter can cause narrower rings.
If the rings are a consistent width throughout the tree, the climate was the same year after year.
In this activity, students will use pre-marked paper strips to simulate tree-ring core samples to help them understand that data for past climate changes can be gathered from sources beyond long-term weather observations.
Background Trees contain some of nature's most accurate evidence of the past.