Death of Yoda the 650-Year-Old Tree Tells Tale of Southwest Drought

nbcThe work of Geography Professor Henri Grissino-Mayer is getting ample media coverage. The media are covering the recent death of a 7-foot-tall Douglas fir, nicknamed Yoda, estimated to be more than 650 years old. Grissino-Mayer said the death is a testament to the severity of today’s drought, according to NBC News. A core sample obtained in 1991 established that Yoda had lived at least since 1406, but it likely had been alive since 1350 or so, Grissino-Mayer told NBC News. Yoda had survived a “megadrought” in the 16th century — an intense period of dry weather that plagued Mexico and North America for decades and caused major tree losses. Today, Grissino-Mayer said to the news outlet, “We’re seeing massive mortality in tree populations that is unprecedented.” His work is also featured in Smithsonian Magazine and Alburquerque Journal.