The Most Devastating Solar Storms in History are Scoured Into Tree Rings

Scientists study tree rings because they retain a record of climatic events and changes. They also record the Sun's activity. Image Credit: Rbreidbrown/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Trees are like sentinels that preserve a record of shifting climates. Their growth rings hold that history and dendrochronology studies those rings. Scientists can determine the exact ages of trees and correlate their growth with climatic and environmental changes.

But they also record the effects of more distant changes, including the Sun’s activity.

Continue reading “The Most Devastating Solar Storms in History are Scoured Into Tree Rings”

Tree Rings Reveal 1,000 Years of Solar Activity

Solar activity over the last 1000 years (blue, with error interval in white), sunspot records (red curve) going back less than 400 years. The background shows a typical eleven-?year cycle of the sun. CREDIT ETH Z├╝rich

The Sun has a lot of rhythm and goes through different cycles of activity. The most well-known cycle might be the Schwabe cycle, which has an 11-year cadence. But what about cycles with much longer time scales? How can scientists understand them?

As it turns out, the Sun has left some hidden clues in tree rings.

Continue reading “Tree Rings Reveal 1,000 Years of Solar Activity”