At school, I’m sure every child was once fascinated by the knowledge that the rings on a tree trunk can tell it’s age. The very fact that the age of a tree can be recorded this way used to be unreal, and to actually count the rings of a cut tree and figuring out the age of a tree in front of us was an inexplicable discovery.
Trees can be dated in a variety of ways; dendrochronology (the study of tree rings) is but one of them. In recent times, this method has been criticized by many people because of the contradiction it provides. Why would you cut and kill a tree, just so you can figure out it’s age? One such mistake in 1964 had lead to the cutting of the world’s oldest tree at that time. An accident that could have been avoided, if the method of dating trees were different.
However, tree rings are very valuable for various other reasons. That is why, the study of dendrochronology still continues with an altered methodology. Scientists do not cut the entire tree to look at the trunk as a slab, but use drills to cut out a small, thin core of the tree that fully captures the information embedded in the core. Not only do they record the age, but can also serve as an important in climate studies and fire predictions. This characteristic is now being used to recontruct climate record pertaining to forest fires, and can be helpful in discerning patterns of fire in a particular region.
Continue reading What can tree rings can tell about forest fires?
Disaster Management 101 requires us to understand the difference between a hazard and a disaster. The difference is minute, but speaks volumes about human involvement in natural phenomena…
Continue reading Hazard vs Disaster: The principle behind disaster management
Landslides, when occur, account for huge destruction to both life and property. What landslides are and what are the measures one could take to prevent them has been already mentioned here. When it comes to prevention of landslides, a neat relationship between landslide and botany is seen. One of the measures is to grow trees up slope as it will slow down the flow of water and roots binding the soil will thus prevent soil erosion. But just planting any tree or shrub won’t be beneficial…
Continue reading Botanical support: How can plants help control landslides?
(A guest post by Nidhi Singh. Check out her blog, The Brown Little Sparrow!)
John Muir an author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States, said that the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. And I am sure most of you will agree with him. But you’ll also agree with the fact that we are losing that way, that too at a very fast rate.
In India the total forest and tree cover area is 79.42 million hectare, which is 24.16 percent of the total geographical area as per the report of India State of Forest Report (ISFR). But, the rate of degradation of these forests is quite alarming and forest fires are playing a major role in that. According to a report of the Forest Protection Division, of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), 3.73 million hectares of forests are affected by fires, annually in India.
Continue reading Technology making things easy: Forest fire management through Remote Sensing