Mummified Arctic forest could yield clues to global warming
December 21st, 2010
08:10 AM ET

Mummified Arctic forest could yield clues to global warming

A mummified ancient forest unearthed north of the Arctic Circle may give researchers clues about what to expect as climate change again affects the polar region.

Joel Barker, a researcher at The Ohio State University, stumbled on the forest's remnants while camping last year on Canada's Ellesmere Island, just 500 miles from the North Pole.

The forest stood more than 1,000 miles north of the northernmost trees of today.

See a map of the Arctic.

The trees and their branches, leaves, needles and roots were perfectly preserved from when they were buried in an avalanche 2 million to 8 million years ago, when the Arctic climate was getting colder, according to Canada's CBC News.

"Mummified forests aren't so uncommon, but what makes this one unique is that it's so far north. When the climate began to cool 11 million years ago, these plants would have been the first to feel the effects," Barker said in an OSU news release.

"And because the trees' organic material is preserved, we can get a high-resolution view of how quickly the climate changed and how the plants responded to that change."

He presented his findings Friday at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.

Barker next plans to study tree rings to learn how past climate conditions stressed plant life and predict how the Arctic ecosystem will respond to global warming.

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Filed under: Canada • Climate change • Environment • Science
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Jim Brieske

    sweet. God can do anything. But slavery was created by Africans. In fact, they are still kidnapping each other for slavery. There is something genetically defective about black men. Lincoln wanted to send them all back to Africa. He didn't have enough ships. Our country would be so much better without them.
    This seven days to create everything, God can do it. God can do earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, strike aircraft with lightning, give them some windshear, driving rain, tornadoes, pass two asteroids within the Earth and Moon and save people with Vince Lombardi. He can do these things and more.
    Currently he is giving sodomy lovers of California some symbolic mudslides. But one of these days, he going to wipe that fuked place (with 674 deathrow inmates, millions of Gay men and illegal aliens) off the face of the planet.
    That's a fact. When absolute proof is required.
    jim

    December 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yep

      Wow, you are either kidding or really stupid.

      December 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    @Jim...Moses' wife was a black woman. Any thought's on this?

    December 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    On a clear night, light from the Andromeda nebula can be seen. Since it takes about 2 million years for this light to reach the earth, we know the universe must be at least that old.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sweet

    I cannot say I agree with the black being genetically inferior. God created all of us. But I know that he does and will punish sodimites and all the may payers will be bending the knees and professing Jesus Christ as Lord when He comes with great glory in the clouds to bring home his redeemed.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sweet

    I cannot say I agree with the black being genetically inferior. God created all of us. But I know that he does and will punish sodimites and all the nay payers will be bending the knees and professing Jesus Christ as Lord when He comes with great glory in the clouds to bring home his redeemed.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sweet

    I cannot say I agree with the black being genetically inferior. God created all of us. But I know that he does and will punish sodimites and all the nay sayers will be bending the knees and professing Jesus Christ as Lord when He comes with great glory in the clouds to bring home his redeemed.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. phil

    @sweet...the civil war had little to do with slavery. Both sides owned slaves. When the US wanted to revolt against England, they needed funds to arm themselves. Ben Franklin travelled to France, and convinced the Banc of france to lend US the funds. The US defaulted on these loans, and so the Banc of France sold the note to the Bank of England for pennies on the dollar. England then demanded payment and was snubbed, so they legally began confiscating trade goods being shipped abroad by the USA. This forced the US government, the "North" if you will, to the bargaining table and a deal was struck. If the Bank of england would extend these loans, the North would invade the South on the pretext of ending slavery, and use confiscated cotton and tobacco to repay the Bank of England. ( the 'emancipation proclamation' did NOT make it illegal to own slaves, it made it illegal to purchase new ones)

    December 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sweet

    In fact I must say I totally disagree on that point about blacks. Who made peanut butter, The stop light,and how many more good things have they given to up to make the world better. There was a lady who was an absolute angel to of when my son was dying at Mission. She was black but I do not see her color. She showed me her heart and helped at a time when I was so broken God Bless Her Always! I heard her words over and murd as I left my white abusive worse than the infadel(do you know that verse? a man who will not keep his own is worse than a non beleiver) husband to raise my other child and have something beyond cruelty and deception all my days. They eight for our country and deserve respect where respect is due. Just like any race. We should not see color.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sweet

    fight for our country

    December 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sweet

    right you are phil. But what was really won out of all of that mess? What changes the whole of the United States forever and ever. Were it just money things would not have boiled down the way they did. I appreciate all perspectives and ok the war was not even started over slavery but it came on around to the main problem shortly. We can not be a democracy and endorse slavery of an man woman or child

    December 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. phil

    @Cesar...thank you, but I cannot take credit for those words. I borrowed them from the bible. "Do not give what is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open"–Jesus, as recorded by Matthew. (ch 7 vs.8)

    December 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. acey

    lf you don't like slavery quit buying diamonds and things made in China. Or Mexico, or India, or ...

    December 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. acey

    There you are, Jim. I was wondering if you were going to defend yourself.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. acey

    I'm sorry you hate gays. You must have had a bad first experience. Keep trying, and come out of the damn closet.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. phil

    @sweet...fair enough and thank you for your reply. While actual slavery did eventually end, it did not stop the long-held belief that white's are somehow superior to blacks. (I submit to you Jim Brieske and those with similar views as evidence) The end of slavery gave birth to the rise of racism. All-white member and all-black member churches exist to this very day. There are literally thousands of places here in the USA even today, where if you were to venture late at night, you would be killed for the coloor of your skin. While "Vengeance is mine" sayeth the Lord, we still see people seeking revenge spurred on by their church leaders to do so as if they were doing God himself some service. Just as both sides of the civil war were guilty of owning slaves, both white and black people are guilty of keeping rascism alive and prospering.

    December 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
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