Current climate change models assume that trees recover swiftly after a drought ends. That’s not true, according to a new study.
Researchers examined tree-ring data from more than 1,300 sites around the world. By comparing the rings to rainfall records, they could track tree growth before, during, and after droughts.
They found most trees grow slower than normal for 1 to 4 years following a drought.
It’s called a “legacy effect,” and it hasn’t been included in climate change models.