What connects a series of volcanic eruptions and severe summer cooling with a century of pandemics, human migration and the rise and fall of civilisations? Tree rings, says Ulf Büntgen, who leads Cambridge’s first dedicated tree-ring laboratory in the Department of Geography.

Once you embark on these integrative approaches you can ask questions like how did complex societies cope with climate change? That’s when it starts to get really exciting.

Ulf Büntgen

Researchers use tree rings to unravel past climates and their impact on civilisations. 

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