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The tusk of a narwhal, a dramatic spiraled tooth that can extend up to ten feet long, holds important information about a fast-changing Arctic, a new study has found. 

The study, published on March 10 in the journal Current Biology, analyzed stable isotopes and mercury concentrations in ten narwhal tusks. The authors—led by Rune Dietz, a conservation biologist at Aarhus University in Denmark, and Jean-Pierre Desforges, a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University—found that both the narwhals’ diet and their exposure to mercury changed considerably between the years 1960 and 2010. The scientists surmise these shifts are related to the effects of a warming planet.  

Narwhal tusks grow a little bit each year and because they are connected to the bloodstream, they can point to changes in the animals’ diets. By analyzing these giant teeth, researchers can glean timed physiological information—kind of like tree rings, coauthor Desforges says which scientists use to learn about historical variations in climate. The tusks, which were collected from Inuit subsistence hunters in northwest Greenland, in some cases belonged to animals that were over 50 years old, allowing researchers a wide breadth of historical data within a single sample. 

Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen “are essentially used as dietary proxies to tell us something about what species the animals are eating,” explains Desforges. “But also we can look at pollutants like mercury, because this can be deposited in the teeth as well.” 

The team’s findings suggest that before the 1990’s, when sea ice levels were consistently high, the narwhals were probably feeding on arctic cod, which thrive in sea ice environments, as well as fish like halibut, which are higher up on the food chain. After 1990, as the sea ice began to decline, the data indicate that the narwhals switched to different prey, lower on the food chain. It’s just a correlation, Desforges says, but “the observed themes that we see seem to match very well with the changes in the natural environment.”

As humans continue to heat up the planet, we’re losing Arctic sea ice at shocking rates. That sea ice, which traps a lot of nutrients, is tightly wound into the Arctic food web: Sea ice nutrients feed the plankton, who feed the fish, who feed the seals and whales, who feed the polar bears, and so on. The loss of sea ice can disrupt which species live where, and who eats what. And because more toxins accumulate the higher up you go in the food chain (a process known as “biomagnification”), when there’s a change in the ecosystem, “there’s a chance for that to alter the way that contaminants move in the food web,” Desforges says. 

Mercury, a naturally-occurring metal and neurotoxin that’s been spewed out at unsafe rates by extractive processes like mining, is all over the Arctic. The authors found that mercury levels in the narwhal tusks increased between 1962 and 1990, probably a reflection of the higher mercury levels of the fish that the narwhals were eating, and the way toxins build up in animals’ bodies with age. “The surprising thing was after the 1990s and the 2000s”—when the narwhals started eating fish lower down on the food chain, which should mean less mercury—“we actually see mercury levels rise, and not only rise above what we expected, but at a greater rate than any other time in our time series,” says Desforges.  

The authors speculate that this unexpected spike is related to more mercury pouring into the environment, climate-related changes in the food web, or both. 

“We’re dealing with multiple stressors of change, and this study is showing the cumulative impacts of that,” says Lisa Loseto, a research scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada who was not involved in the study. This research is “considering climate change and contaminants together, and what one species is having to deal with in the Arctic—the place that’s enduring the most change.” 

The study’s findings are “a call to action,” says Loseto, that “we need to look at our impacts on wildlife in the Arctic.”

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Flapping Robotic Wing Helps Biologists Uncover Secrets Of Bat Flight

A new 3-D printed robotic bat wing can emulate the flapping motion of a real bat, helping biologists simulate how the mammals fly and helping aerodynamics researchers study new flapping-wing aircraft. In the process of building and modifying the robotic wing, researchers at Brown University stumbled upon some structural fixes that provide insight into how bat bodies evolved for flight.

Bat wings are incredibly complex mechanisms, producing lift and thrust to help the flying mammals quickly chase their insect prey, fly long distances, and nimbly move through dense clouds of their compatriots. A bat’s wings span almost its entire body, supported by two arm bones and five finger-like digits covered in an elastic skin that can stretch up to 400 percent of its original size. Small aircraft based on bat designs could be efficient little flapping drones, but researchers would need to understand how bats work.

Studying real animals poses a bit of a challenge, however, explains Joseph Bahlman, a graduate student at Brown who led the project. “We can’t ask a bat to flap at a frequency of eight hertz then raise it to nine hertz so we can see what difference that makes,” Bahlman said. “They don’t really cooperate that way.”

Researchers build a “robatic” bat wing from Brown University on Vimeo.

Instead, Bahlman and his team printed plastic bat bones and stretched a silicone elastomer “wing membrane” over it. The bones are connected to cables, which serve as tendons, and these are activated by built-in servo motors. The team could put the wing in a wind tunnel and test a bunch of parameters, like wing flap-frequency, related energy requirements, lift and drag, and so on. It’s based on the wing of a lesser dog-faced fruit bat.

Flapping wing aircraft (and animals) generate lift by flapping down and by folding their wings back a bit; think of hunching your shoulders forward and back, or rotating your wrist. Some of the downstroke lift is wiped out by the drag created on the upstroke. To avoid this, birds and bats fold their wings in a bit on the upstroke. By using the robot, Bahlman and colleagues found that wing folding increases net lift by almost 50 percent–a useful insight into how flapping-wing flight works.

But this research might be even more interesting for its insights into bat biology. During wing tests, a groove joint on the wing’s “elbow” kept breaking, for instance. Bahlman eventually wrapped it in some steel cable to keep it intact, just like ligaments holding joints together in real animals. The team also realized that real bats have a large set of muscles right at the elbow joint, and this may have evolved to prevent the elbow from bending to a breaking point, according to the researchers.

This underscores the importance of those wing structures–and could help explain why bats are so badly harmed by a debilitating fungus called Geomyces destructans, which coats their faces and wings. The fungus causes a deadly disease known as white-nose syndrome, and one of its characteristic symptoms is a badly infected and damaged wing membrane, preventing the bats from flying.

The robotic bat wing will help answer further questions about bat flight especially after the team starts tweaking its composition, according to Brown. The researchers want to change some materials to study bone flexibility, weight and other characteristics. Meanwhile, their initial research appears in the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics.

What Is The Full Form Of Acts


ACTS, which stands for Advanced Communications Technology Satellite, was a series of experimental communication satellites developed by NASA, the United States Air Force, and the Canadian government in the 1990s. The primary goal of the program was to test and validate new technologies for satellite-based communication systems. This included testing high-speed data transmission, mobile communications, and broadband services. The ACTS program was a joint effort between government agencies and private industry partners, who worked together to develop and launch the satellites.

History of ACTS

The ACTS (Advanced Communications Technology Satellite) program was developed in the late 1980s by a joint effort between NASA, the United States Air Force, and the Canadian government. The program was designed to test and validate new technologies for satellite-based communication systems, including high-speed data transmission, mobile communications, and broadband services.

Although the ACTS program is no longer active, its legacy continues to shape the development of modern satellite communication systems.

Objectives and Purpose of ACTS

The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) program had several objectives and purposes, including −

Testing new technologies − One of the primary goals of the ACTS program was to test and validate new technologies for satellite-based communication systems.

Support for scientific and commercial applications − The ACTS program aimed to support a range of scientific and commercial applications, including earth observation, remote sensing, weather forecasting, and broadcasting.

Technical Features of ACTS

Some of the key technical features of the ACTS program are −

High-speed communications − The ACTS satellite featured a high-speed Ka-band communications system that was capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 622 megabits per second (Mbps).

Mobile communications support − The satellite was designed to support mobile communications applications, allowing it to track and communicate with moving objects such as aircraft and ships.

Applications of ACTS

The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) had several applications, including −

Mobile communications − The satellite was capable of supporting mobile communications applications, enabling it to track and communicate with moving objects such as aircraft and ships.

Broadcasting − The satellite was used for experimental broadcasting applications, including the delivery of digital television and radio signals.

Military applications − The ACTS program had several military applications, including support for battlefield communications and reconnaissance missions.

Scientific research − The ACTS satellite was used for scientific research applications, including space-based experiments in microgravity and astrophysics.

Conclusion FAQs

Q1. How many ACTS satellites were launched?

Ans. Four ACTS satellites were launched in total.

Q2. What were some of the challenges faced by the ACTS program?

Ans. The ACTS program faced several challenges during its development and operation, including −

Cost − The development and operation of the ACTS program were expensive, with significant costs associated with the design, construction, launch, and operation of the satellites and associated ground infrastructure.

Risk − The experimental nature of the ACTS program meant that there were significant risks associated with the development and operation of the satellites, including the risk of launch failure, technical malfunctions, and other unforeseen issues.

Ka-band communication − The ACTS program was the first to demonstrate high-speed data transmission using Ka-band frequencies. This paved the way for the development of Ka-band satellite communication systems, which are now commonly used for high-speed internet services.

What Is The Full Form Of Bsm

Introduction to (BSM)

A Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management (BSM) is a program that focuses on the business aspects of the sports industry. The program equips students with knowledge and skills in sports marketing, finance, law, and ethics, among other topics. Graduates of this program can pursue careers in sports management, sports marketing, event management, and sports administration. The program prepares students to manage and lead sports organizations and events effectively.

Syllabus and Course Structure of BSM degree program

The Bachelor of Sports Management (BSM) degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in the sports industry. The program typically takes four years to complete and consists of a mix of general education courses, core sports management courses, and electives.

Here’s an example of a sample syllabus and course structure for a BSM degree program −

Year 1

Introduction to Sports Management

Principles of Accounting

Principles of Marketing

Principles of Microeconomics

General Education courses (e.g., English composition, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences)

Year 2

Sports Law and Ethics

Financial Management in Sports

Fundamentals of Public Relations

Introduction to Statistics

General Education courses (e.g., communication, critical thinking, diversity and inclusion, environmental studies)

Year 3

Sports Sponsorship and Sales

Sports Facilities and Event Management

Organizational Behavior in Sports

Sports Analytics and Data Management

Elective courses (e.g., coaching, sport psychology, sport sociology)

Year 4

Strategic Management in Sports

International Sports Management

Sports Broadcasting and Media Relations

Internship or Practicum in Sports Management

Elective courses (e.g., sports marketing, sport and technology, sport and entrepreneurship)

Note that the courses and their order may vary depending on the institution offering the BSM degree program. Additionally, some programs may offer specializations or concentrations in specific areas of sports management, such as sport marketing, sport finance, or sport analytics.

Career prospects and opportunities after completing BSM

A Bachelor of Sports Management (BSM) degree can open up various career opportunities in the sports industry. Some potential career paths for BSM graduates include −

Sports Event Management − BSM graduates can work as event managers, which involve planning and executing sports events, such as tournaments, races, and competitions.

Sports Facility Management − Graduates can work as facility managers, which involves overseeing the maintenance and operation of sports facilities such as stadiums, arenas, and recreation centers.

Sports Broadcasting − BSM graduates can work in sports broadcasting, which involves covering and reporting on sporting events for television, radio, and online media.

Athletic Administration − BSM graduates can work in athletic administration, which involves managing athletic programs, overseeing coaches and athletes, and handling budgets and finances.

Sports Analytics − BSM graduates can work in sports analytics, which involves using data and statistics to inform decisions in sports management and strategy.

Sports Journalism − BSM graduates can work in sports journalism, which involves reporting on sports news, writing feature stories, and conducting interviews with athletes and coaches.

Overall, the sports industry is constantly growing and evolving, and there are many career opportunities available for BSM graduates. Graduates with a BSM degree can find employment opportunities with professional sports teams, collegiate athletic departments, sports media companies, event management firms, and many other organizations within the sports industry.

Top colleges and universities offering BSM degree programs

There are several colleges and universities in India that offer Bachelor of Sports Management (BSM) degree programs. Here are some of the top institutions −

National Academy of Sports Management (NASM), Mumbai − Offers a BSM program that provides a foundation in sports management, marketing, finance, and law.

Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences (SSSS), Pune − Offers a BSM program that focuses on sports management, sports science, and sports technology.

International Institute of Sports Management (IISM), Mumbai − Offers a BSM program that combines sports management with business, marketing, and media.

Amity School of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (ASPES), Noida − Offers a BSM program that provides a foundation in sports management, physical education, and sports science.

Alagappa University, Karaikudi − Offers a BSM program that covers various aspects of sports management, including sports marketing, finance, and administration.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), Kolkata − Offers a BSM program that covers various aspects of sports management, including sports marketing, event management, and sports law.

Lovely Professional University (LPU), Jalandhar − Offers a BSM program that provides a foundation in sports management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Note that the courses and curriculum may vary depending on the institution offering the BSM degree program. It is recommended to research the specific program offerings, faculty, and resources before making a decision on which institution to attend.


In conclusion, a Bachelor of Sports Management (BSM) degree can open up various career opportunities in the sports industry. Graduates can work in sports marketing, event management, facility management, broadcasting, athletic administration, sports analytics, and sports journalism. There are many colleges and universities offering BSM degree programs around the world, including in India. It is important to research the specific program offerings and resources before deciding on which institution to attend. The sports industry is constantly growing and evolving, and a BSM degree can provide a strong foundation for a successful career in this exciting and dynamic field.


Q1. What is the curriculum for a BSM degree program?

Ans. The curriculum for a BSM degree program typically includes courses in sports marketing, event management, facility management, sports law, sports analytics, and business management. Some programs may also offer specializations in areas such as sports media, sports coaching, or sports psychology.

Q2. What skills do BSM graduates acquire during the program?

Ans. BSM graduates acquire a range of skills such as strategic thinking, problem-solving, leadership, communication, marketing, and data analysis. They also gain a strong understanding of the sports industry and its various aspects, including management, marketing, and operations.

Q3. Can BSM graduates pursue postgraduate education in sports management?

Ios 14.3 Release Candidate Now Available, Here Are The Full Release Notes

The Release Candidate version of iOS 14.3 is now available to developers and public beta users. In addition to many of the changes we’ve already reported, iOS 14.3 RC includes changes to the TV app, the Health app, and more. Apple has also released watchOS 7.2 RC and tvOS 14.3 RC.

With today’s release of iOS 14.3 RC, we expect a release to the general public sometime within the next week, likely on Monday, December 14.

Apple has moved away from the previously-used golden master naming for near-final beta releases. Instead, going forward the company will use the term “Release Candidate,” or RC to reference a near-final beta release.

iOS 14.3 RC is available to developers and public beta users via an over-the-air update in the Settings app. As usual, if the update does not immediately appear for download, keep checking as it sometimes takes a few minutes to roll out to all registered developers.

iOS 14.3 includes support for the new ProRAW photo format for iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max users. There are also two other changes for the Camera app:

Option to record video at 25 fps

Mirror the front facing camera for still photos on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

The update also brings rare changes to the Apple TV app:

An all-new Apple TV+ tab makes it easy to discover and watch Apple Original shows and movies

Enhanced search so you can browse by category such as genre, and see recent searches and suggestions as you type

Top search results shown with the most relevant matches across movies, TV shows, cast, channels, and sports

iOS 14.3 also makes it easier to set custom app icons thanks to the ability to run shortcuts from the Home screen without launching the Shortcuts app first. The update also brings support for setting Ecosia as your default search engine and support for installing software updates for third-party HomeKit accessories directly in the Home app.

Finally, iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2 lay the groundwork for Apple Fitness+, which will officially launch to everyone on December 14. Learn more in our full coverage right here.

Here are the release notes for iOS 14.3 RC:

Apple Fitness+

A new fitness experience powered by Apple Watch with studio-style workouts available on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (Apple Watch Series 3 and later)

New Fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV to browse Fitness+ workouts, trainers, and personalized recommendations

Video workouts added each week in ten popular workout types: High Intensity Interval Training, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Rowing, Treadmill Walking, Treadmill Running, and Mindful Cooldown

Playlists curated by Fitness+ trainers to complement your workout

Fitness+ subscription available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States

AirPods Max

Support for AirPods Max, new over-ear headphones

High fidelity audio for rich sound

Adaptive EQ adapts sound in real time to the personal fit of ear cushions

Active Noise Cancellation to block out environmental noise

Transparency mode to hear the environment around you

Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for a theater-like listening experience


Apple ProRAW photos can be captured on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple ProRAW photos can be edited in the Photos app

Option to record video at 25 fps

Mirror the front facing camera for still photos on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X


New privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices

TV app

An all-new Apple TV+ tab makes it easy to discover and watch Apple Original shows and movies

Enhanced search so you can browse by category such as genre, and see recent searches and suggestions as you type

Top search results shown with the most relevant matches across movies, TV shows, cast, channels, and sports

App Clips

Support for launching App Clips by scanning Apple-designed App Clip Codes via Camera or from Control Center


Ability to indicate pregnancy, lactation, or contraceptive use in Cycle Tracking in the Health app in order to better manage period and fertile window predictions


Air quality data is now available in Weather, Maps, and Siri for locations in China mainland

Air quality health recommendations are provided in Weather and Siri for the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Mexico at certain air quality levels

Air quality data in Weather, Maps, and Siri reflects updated national scales for Germany and Mexico


Ecosia search engine option in Safari

This release also addresses the following issues:

Some MMS messages may not be received

Contact groups failed to display members when composing a message

Some videos would not appear correctly when shared from the Photos app

App folders may fail to open

Spotlight search results, and opening apps from Spotlight may not work

Bluetooth could be unavailable in Settings

MagSafe Duo Charger could wirelessly charge your iPhone at less than the maximum power

Wireless accessories and peripherals using the WAC protocol could fail to complete setup

The keyboard would dismiss when adding a list in Reminders while using VoiceOver

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Tree Rings Contain Secrets From The Forest

Tree rings reveal a climate record deep into the past. Pixabay

Neil Pederson’s introduction to tree rings came from a “sweet and kindly” college instructor, who nevertheless was “one of the most boring professors I’d ever experienced,” Pederson said. “I swore tree rings off then and there.” But they kept coming back to haunt him. As a future forest ecologist, he needed to learn more about the history of forests. So he read countless articles in graduate school extolling the importance of tree rings in unraveling a forest’s past. Ultimately, “I fell in love with the beauty and wealth of information found in tree rings,” he said. “Since then, tree rings have revealed to me the absolute resiliency of trees and forests. I’m hooked.” Today, he and his colleagues are using the data inherent in these ancient sources of nature to better understand the impact of climate change and carbon dynamics on forests, all the more valuable because data from long-lived trees can reach back decades, even centuries. This is far longer than modern satellite imagery, carbon dioxide measurements, and computer models, whose high-tech information gathering only stretches back about 30 years. “What tree rings can do is enhance those records,” Pederson said. “The satellite record…represents a small portion of the life of a tree, let alone the ‘life’ of a forest. Further, it only captures the weather ‘norm’ for a region and, as we are learning, climate varies over time. The weather norms or averages on your nightly weather reports are based on 30-year means. So, while satellite records are good at covering space, they might be limited in what they can tell us about forests due to shortness of these records.”

Scientists sampling tulip-poplar at the Black Rock Forest in southern NY. Neil Pederson/Harvard University

Pederson, now a senior ecologist with Harvard University’s Harvard Forest, a 4,000-acre research site, along with Laia Andreu-Hayles, an associate research professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and Mathieu Levesque, research leader of the forest management group at ETH Zurich, analyzed tree rings to determine if the information they gleaned matched the accuracy of high-tech equipment. They wanted to know whether the rings could serve as a proxy for learning more about carbon storage and climate change in forests over the long-term, and found that they could.

Forests serve as important carbon “sinks,” absorbing planet-heating carbon dioxide that has been released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels. But little is known about exactly how much carbon is stored in forests now, or in the past, and scientists are only in recent years learning about the past effects of climate change.

The scientists examined ring samples from two widespread species — tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra) — growing in three climatically different regions of the eastern United States, then analyzed the carbon and oxygen molecules — or stable isotopes — stored in them. They compared them to estimates obtained from satellites, and found strong agreement each year, and over time. No trees were destroyed to obtain the rings, by the way. Rather, scientists remove an increment core for each sample, each slightly narrower than a pencil.

Their findings appear in the journal Nature Communications.

Flower of tulip-poplar, the tallest documented tree in the eastern US. Neil Pederson/Harvard University

“Tulip poplar trees, one of my favorite trees, are highly sensitive to rainfall,” Pederson said. “In fact, they are considered drought deciduous. (These are plants that drop their leaves during dry or drought periods.) During the drought in 1999 in the New York City area, some tulip poplars turned yellow in August and dropped many of their leaves due to the dryness of the year. In 2005, in Kentucky, after a drought in August, the three tulip poplars I walked by every day to work started to grow new leaves in September with the return of rain. I was stunned. These observations made me think this species might be a good candidate [to study.]”

Tulip poplar is highly sensitive to the amount of water in the soil, Pederson said. Also, he added, “it is an important species for timber and ecology over a large portion of the eastern U.S. …We [also] chose the stalwart, northern red oak, because of its different physiology, importance as a species, and its value as a study species in understanding forest productivity.”

Levesque agreed. “Both species are great to study,” he said. “Their wide distribution in eastern North America and their sensitivity to climate make them ideal species for our research.” Moreover, “annual tree rings act like a thermometer and rain gauge and record climate in a very good way,” he added.

The rings, in fact, revealed that access to water was the biggest influence in annual forest growth, regardless of climate. “These broadleaf trees need moisture to grow,” Andreu-Hayles said. “Some people may think that in wet regions, moisture will be not important, but our study found that even in very humid time periods, as today, these trees are still sensitive to moisture variations. The stable isotopes measured in tree rings are highly sensitive to tracking moisture.”

Levesque agreed. “Moisture availability is one of the most important factors for temperate forest growth in the northeastern, southeastern and central U.S.,” he said. “That does not mean more moisture [means] more growth, because too wet conditions can also be a limiting factor. By ‘regardless of climate,’ we simply meant that moisture was the main limiting factor for tree growth and productivity irrespective of the local climate conditions found at the study sites.”

Scan of the rings and wood structure of one of the tulip-poplar samples used in the study. Mathieu Levesque/Harvard University

This is important because climate change has ushered in an era characterized by dramatic increases in extreme weather events, including prolonged drought, heavy precipitation and flooding and dangerous heat waves, thus more information about historic climate fluctuations could be useful in projecting future climate effects on forests. Experts regard the health of forests as a critical factor in mitigating carbon pollution.

Pederson noted that droughts in the 16th and 17th centuries were believed to be far worse than those in recent centuries, but it could be that climate change — by prompting more intense precipitation in some regions — has made the earlier droughts seem severe in comparison, he said. “The important thing to remember, however, is even though it is expected to rain more in the northeastern and eastern U.S. in the future, the warming associated with climate change will increase evaporation and the drought stress on plants,” Pederson said. “It is not clear what will happen.”

It’s possible that as parts of the world become wetter, and warming reduces the overall amount of water in the region during the summer, it will worsen droughts, he said. Or it will become so wet that a rise in warming will balance the increase in precipitation, he said. Or — if rain decreases — the increase in warming will amplify the drought stress in trees, even if it doesn’t seem as if the amount of available water has changed, he said.

The researchers hope to expand their research, examining more trees and additional species, and to look further back in time. “This kind of work will be extremely important considering that the longest remote sensing data started in 1982, and trees can live centuries-long,” Andreu-Hayles said.

Pederson agreed. “These kinds of studies will provide considerable insight into how these trees will respond to climate and extreme climatic events…We can learn a lot from the memories of trees,” he said.

Marlene Cimons writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture.

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