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Art and Science Come Together in Ruth Wallen's Piece, "Listen to the Trees"

Climate Science Alliance Affiliated Artist, Ruth Wallen, debuted her most recent piece, "Listen to the Trees," at the Weather on Steroids exhibit at the La Jolla Historical Society. "Listen to the Trees" is a powerful example of science and art coming together to convey climate change in a meaningful way.

"Listen to the Trees" has two engaging components for visitors to interact with. Visitors are first drawn in by Wallen's unique photography that uses a montage of photos to offer varying perspectives of California pine trees. These photos show how the health of Torrey Pine and Jefferey Pine trees is being impacted by factors like drought, bark beetles, and rising temperatures. By observing the photos, visitors can first see the changes in tree health that have already occurred and then move on to an interactive tree ring model that demonstrates what changes might occur in the future in the face of climate change.

Wallen has created interactive models online that demonstrate tree ring growth in response to climate change using two potential scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions. One model explores the higher, "Business as Usual" scenario, while the other explores the lower, "Enlightened Government" scenario. In addition to showing the changes in tree ring growth for each scenario, the rings also serve as a timeline that displays different influential events that have occurred or may occur in a given year of tree growth. Visitors have the opportunity to play with these models at the exhibit on a tablet. Tree stumps are situated throughout the exhibit to give people a chance to sit, think, and truly listen to what are local trees are telling us.

These models as well as more information about "Listen to the Trees" are all featured on the website:

Weather on Steroids will be at the La Jolla Historical Society until May 21st.

It will then be on display at the San Diego Central Library Gallery June 10 - September 3.

For more information about Weather on Steroids, click here.

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