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People and tree rings

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 10 Jan 2015, 00:36

Before reading this I never thought about how human populations, like trees, carry evidence about past weather events.

In a bad year trees add narrower tree rings. Children grow less.

The impact of the 97/98 El Nino storms on rural populations in Chile caused people to grow up nearly a hand's width shorter than otherwise expected. That's a lot.



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Fascinating. And diet change in Japan has seen the average height increase by what ... five or six inches? Is it true that our 'natural' life span is only 40 years? Time to grow up, reproduce, nurture the next generation then die? Should we be inventing a new purpose for our second 40 years? The 'elders' or something?