Listen: How Can Gingko Leaves Help Track Climate Change?
"Hey brain stuff lauren Bogilov here. You might have have a gingko tree in your neighborhood. It has wispy fan shaped leaves that turn a beautiful burnished yellow in the fall and possibly drops rotten smelling fruit. It looks different different from other trees. You might see on your street mostly because when you look at a gingko tree you're looking at the product of another time. Gingko Biloba is the oldest tree on birth. It's outlived odds. Relatives seen the dinosaurs rise and fall any individual Ginkgo tree may have seen a lot the oldest known gingko specimen stands in Zunga Mountains of China and is one thousand four hundred years old gingko trees have remained pretty much unchanged for the past two hundred seventy million years have survived three mass extinctions and might be a key to helping us understand something about how our current climate chefs will affect organisms in the future a group of researchers at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in edgewater Maryland are studying a grove of fifteen gingko trees each housed a plastic greenhouse tent and hooked up to a tank of carbon carbon dioxide that delivers different amounts of the gas to each tree some up to two and a half times the carbon dioxide concentration of modern earth's air in in this experiment called fossil atmospheres. The scientists are trying to reconstruct how the atmosphere of earth has changed over the past couple geologic eras through the ice ages is and periods when there was no ice at all in the polls and how it's likely to change in the future the Earth's atmosphere is made up of a variety of different gases including carbon dioxide the concentrations of which have a huge impact on the planet's climate scientists can get a pretty good idea of what past clients were like by looking at fossil plants. Thanks thanks to a little structure on the surface of their leaves called Sta Mata these are tiny holes that let carbon dioxide into the leaf and water and oxygen out the the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air determines. How many S- tomato are on the surface of the leaf using fossils of GEICO's from different places and time periods can help the researchers features put together a story of what Earth's climate has been up to for the past few hundred million years the researchers are doing all kinds of experiments with their tended fossil atmospheres atmospheres but they also want your help you can assist in this project by volunteering to help counts D'Amato on fossil ginkgo leaves in order to calculate the levels of carbon dioxide oxide in the atmosphere during specific periods in the deep deep past you can also send in Gingko leaves from wherever you live because although Kinko's are native to China they're popular in yards gardens and along streets worldwide may receiving specimens from citizen scientists all over the globe the researchers will be able to get a better sense of how various as features of the trees differ depending on whether they're planted in say Singapore Colorado which will in turn help them better understand how gingko grow differently depending on the climate in which they developed now or two hundred million years ago today's Episode Code was written by Jessica Lynch yields and produced by Tyler claim brain stuff is production of iheartradio's? How stuff works for more on this and lots of other long-lived topics visit our home? Planet has two forks DOT COM. Tom And for more podcasts from iheartradio. The iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows in this episode is brought to you by the Rolling Stone Charts Rolling in stone is the definitive outlet for all things music bringing you. The latest news interviews and reviews rolling stone is your go-to source to learn everything about groundbreaking artists and now rolling stone is going even further to show you what it means to be on the rise introducing the rolling Stone Charts and Interactive Seta Music Charts that offer an in-depth in the moment view of the biggest songs albums and artists in Usak the rolling stone charts the definitive guide for trending breaking popular music in the age of streaming his at rolling stone dot com slash charts or search R._S."