The New Yorker: Making New Climate Data from Old Timber

Press, Studio News 05.06.2022
Illustration by Tyler Keeton Robbins
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Via The New Yorker:

“In 1891, construction was begun on the Terminal Warehouse, in what is now far west Chelsea. A block-long building with a tunnel at its core, it could take in shipping crates off the Hudson River and load them onto one of several train lines running nearby. By the nineteen-eighties, the building was the site of the Tunnel night club; now it’s being revamped into an office-and-retail space. The architecture firm cookfox—Cook has a house not far from the Tree Ring Lab—called up the researchers to invite them to see the wood at the site. On a recent visit, Rao and his colleagues selected twenty-eight joist samples. “They chainsawed about an inch off for us,” he said. Each of the samples was then repeatedly polished, with sandpaper of increasingly fine grain. Once the wood was smooth, each growth ring was analyzed in detail. Then the work of interpreting the language of the wood got going in earnest, using dendrochronology, a range of scientific techniques developed in the course of a century.”

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