Nearly 13,000 years ago, pines in southern France experienced a cold snap, which scientists have now reconstructed
The remains of a buried pine forest at the foot of Mont Saint Genis in Southern France yield insightful information on a drastic climate change event. The pine tree stand initiated around 12,900 years ago during the relatively warm "Allerød" period, and continued growing into the cold snap of the "Younger Dryas" period. Researchers at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, together with international colleagues, have for the first time combined classic tree-ring width measurements with chemical (stable isotope) analyses of carbon and oxygen in tree-rings to reconstruct climate variables. Thus, they were able to calculate local soil water composition (precipitation) and relative humidity at annual time resolution. This resulted in novel insights into the hydrological variability and atmospheric circulation changes during an abrupt climate change event. Read more.