A study published in 2009 — with Matthew Salzer of the Laboratory for Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona as the lead author — found bristlecone ring-growth rates in the second half of the 20th century to be higher than in any other 50-year period in the last 3,700 years.
“The accelerated growth is suggestive of an environmental change unprecedented in millennia,” the report states. As a result, the bristlecone pine is considered by many dendrochronologists to be an “indicator species” for climate change.
This is not good. Bristlecone pines are the oldest living things on the planet. To see significant tree ring growth versus any other time since 1700 BC is extremely strong evidence for climate change.
Also, you have to love the story in the article about finding a scientist finding the oldest bristlecone in the 1960s and the basic response is, “let’s cut it down!”
Maybe this will make me feel less depressed about it. If Richard Manuel can ever really make someone feel less depressed….