Archive for August 8th, 2011

TPW TV: Climate Detective

Monday, August 8th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

[SFX taking core from tree.]

That’s the sound of a scientist taking a core sample from a cypress tree. This month on the Parks and Wildlife TV Series, find out how scientists use the samples to understand drought patterns in Texas.

Producer Alan Fisher:

You may have learned in grade school that trees put on a ring for each year that they’re alive. And what’s also interesting about tree rings is the width of those rings can tell you whether they grew in a wet year or a dry year.

It’s important for us to know what types of droughts we have to contend with in the future and we’re trying to figure that out by seeing what kinds of droughts have impacted our region over the past.

So, scientists are using those rings that can go much further back that written climate records to learn about the past climate of Texas.

Right now we’ve got a chronology here that goes back to the 14oos; I’m convinced that many of these trees started growing before Europeans came to the New World.

The study was funded by the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority because they were really interested in understanding a little more about these drought patterns and what they could learn for future planning.

Thanks, Alan.

This show airs the week of August 14 on Texas PBS stations. Check your local listings.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.