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Problems with tree ring dating

It is also likely that the amount of atmospheric dust (aerosols) has an impact on tree growth, so recent pollution could be a factor.

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Saplings and small trees growing in a forest may be limited by light, and later, as they grow tall enough (or gaps in the forest canopy open), they may be limited by moisture or temperature.This subject has the fancy name of Dendrochronology.The Wikipedia article says: For the entire period of a tree’s life, a year-by-year record or ring pattern is formed that reflects the climatic conditions in which the tree grew. Trees from the same region will tend to develop the same patterns of ring widths for a given period. Following these tree-ring patterns from living trees back through time, chronologies can be built up, both for entire regions, and for sub-regions of the world.It is called the “divergence problem.” Several explanations have been offered to explain the divergence problem, and there is a fair amount of literature on it.It is possible that the post industrial increase in atmospheric CO2 has affected tree growth (acting, essentially as airborne fertilizer) in such a way that the tree ring widths no longer reliably indicate temperature.The tree rings from certain sites seem to properly reflect temperature variability up until around 1960, and after that, the usability of the signal from that proxy can be reduced.

This pattern has been noticed in a number of different tree ring records; the phenomenon is widespread enough that it has a name.

The Bristlecone pine is ideal for this, because they can live to be 5,000 years old, and are among the oldest living organisms. We aren’t told where those degrees were awarded, or when.

Lets assume that each tree lived for 1,000 years, one after the other; but before the first tree died the second tree had begun its life. Wikipedia has an entry for John Woodmorappe — can there be more than one? (Allowance for unlisted names in the biblical chronologies pushes back these dates, but not much).

This attitude is most unusual to find in creationist literature. But how will Woodmorappe handle it if his carbon-14 hypothesis doesn’t work out?

A new study has recently been published that looks at the ecology of bristlecone pine growth at Sheep Mountain, and the tree ring signal those trees produce, at high altitudes in the Southwestern US.

He said, “Back in 1999 we (Mann et al) made the best available choices with the information and data we had.