In the 12th episode of Climate History, co-hosts Dagomar Degroot and Emma Moesswilde interview Amy Hessl of West Virginia University and Valerie Trouet of the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona. Hessl and Trouet are two of the world's leading paleoclimatologists. They scour the Earth to measure the growth rings in trees, which they use to uncover ancient climate changes that likely influenced the fate of past societies. Among other work, they have led groundbreaking studies that identified ancient changes in atmospheric circulation, hurricane frequency, the prevalence of wildfires, and even the precipitation patterns that may have set the stage for the expansion of the Mongol Empire.
In this interview, we discuss the nature of tree ring research, the challenge of communicating its insights to the public, and Professor Trouet's groundbreaking new book, Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings.
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