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The Tree Rings' Tale: Understanding Our Changing Climate (Worlds of Wonder) Hardcover – November 30, 2009


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The Tree Rings' Tale: Understanding Our Changing Climate (Worlds of Wonder) + Fundamentals of Tree Ring Research + An Introduction to Tree-Ring Dating
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Worlds of Wonder
  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (November 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826347576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826347572
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Science writer Fleck addresses one of the most important guiding principles for life in the arid West and one that scientists have long recognized: climate variability.

About the Author

John Fleck is a science writer and journalist for the Albuquerque Journal who routinely writes on drought and water issues. This is his first book.

More About the Author

John Fleck has been writing about water and climate in the West for more than two decades as a journalist in California and New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Barnett on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Fleck may have written _The Tree Rings' Tale_ for young readers, but this grown-up found it a highly readable, engaging book. Fleck builds his narrative around the science of tree rings and the scientists who research the rings and other clues to figure out climate variability in the arid West. The book is an excellent primer on climate and its most important impact on humans: water supply. It's also a page-turning reader - not a common attribute, unfortunately, of most kids' science books.

The publisher suggests ages 13 and up, but I read it to my science-and-invention-loving 8-year-old and he was rapt. (He was hooked in the first paragraph, thanks to Fleck's harrowing opening scene from John Wesley Powell's 1869 Colorado River expedition.) In addition to tree ring science, Fleck explains complexities such as forecasting, drought, weather and climate change in an easy-to-understand style that still respects kids' intelligence.

Part of what makes _The Tree Rings' Tale_ so readable is Fleck's use of actual scientists to weave his tales, which range from ancient climates to El Niño/La Niña. Much appreciated: About half of these scientists are women, a refreshing refute of the continuing gender disparity in so many science books, such as Richard Dawkins' new _Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing_, with only 3 women scientists' work featured out of 83 texts.

Fleck has an eye for the detail that will grab a young person's attention. My son was interested to learn that scientists in these different fields get to shoot down rapids, launch giant weather balloons and climb rocks. He also loved Fleck's details about some of the makeshift tools scientists use to do their work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Tree Rings' Tale: Understanding Our Changing Climate is intended for advanced elementary to middle school readers but is reviewed here for its importance to all ages in explaining the science of tree rings - which had not been developed when adventurer John Wesley Powell made his epic voyages down the Colorado River in 1969, 71 and 72. In linking his biography with the evolution of climate science, THE TREE RINGS' TALE provides a powerful survey of climate science's relationship to all other scientific disciplines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. S. Braterman on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book embeds the sciences of dendrochronolgy and climate change with the human details of how we actually come to know what we know. So we have a merging of many different strands of scientific reasoning - always a delight to witness. It will arouse curiosity in its intended audience, leaving them better informed, eager to learn more, and protected against obfuscation.
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Format: Hardcover
This book of 100 pages is more about climate shifts than tree rings, though there are interesting accounts of people who have used them to date periods of drought near the Grand Canyon. There is nothing about how specimens are obtained and used in research and only one annotated picture. With that title I would have expected a little more about what can be deduced from tree rings and how the different factors affecting them are disentangled. The chapters on observing and understanding weather have a fresh approach which might well prove inspiring to the young: e.g. 'Scientists can't always look things up in a book. When they face a new question they often have to invent a new way to answer it'.
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steve Holmes on November 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I decided to to a study of tree rings when I read how they supposedly matched up the tree rings from some 8000 year old tree to some dead older tree to extend the timeline to 12,000 years. Well, I examined the tree rings of six trees, all cut down the same year in the same park and all dead from Dutch Elm Disease. I saw NO correlation between the rings.
So, I did the same thing at Lake Tahoe. Still, no correlation.
So, no, I didn't WASTE my money on this book.
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