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. treasure781

    blacks are not the creators of slavery. also slavery is mentioned several times in the bible and not in a negative way. having a white parent and a black parent, i understand both sides of racism. racism is a learned behavior passed down from ones parents.

    December 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. purple69

    what do gay slaves have to do with the frozen trees?

    December 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. treasure781

    born gay. yeah right.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sweet

    Phil you are right man. I grew up listening to hate filled ppl who are who they are. The white is right and all that garbage. I by white and I have arguments with ppl all the time who are ignorant and would have up beleive that some how ppl are bad or less than us cause they are black brown or whatever. But I aint all white so when they get to talkin I know that if they use The Word to back their wrong thinking that they have totally disreguarde the message contained therein. Our whole country was eat up with slavery. The mason dixon is proof of the ongoing problems ppl had with slavery. to above person I try to buy everything made here in the states. I quit a good job because they were exploiting workers in Mexico.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sweet

    Am white- my bad

    December 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robert Hagedorn

    Do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.

    December 21, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RUFFNUTT

    i would love to go dig one of those trees up and make some book shelf ends outta them. also they would make some cool wood floors.

    we need a new tv-series out of this.. so=long swamploggers hello artic-loggers.

    December 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. phil

    @sweet...thanx. Racists are just scared. And their leaders make a lot of money promoting racism as an "alternative lifestyle". One of my fav examples is MalcomX. He literally had millions of black racists believing that the Israelites captivity in Egypt was somehow linked with black people being enslaved in the USA. He taught that after 215 yrs., God would release black people from enslavement. (He thought the Israelites had been enslaved for 215 yrs. in Egupt, when in fact it was 430 yrs.) And MalcomX was only telling these racists what they wanted to hear. If he taught them the truth that God is not partial to any color, they would not have listened and he would not have profited. My other fav example is the KKK. But I'll let Jim Brieske tell you all about them. He understands them a lot better than I do. (don't yell at me Mr. Brieske, I'm old and just as cranky as you are sometimes)

    December 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. treasure781

    did u foget malcom x went to mecca and saw muslems of all colors worshiping together. when he came back to america to set the record straight and expose the nation of islam he was killed by his own people. by the way his mom was half white!

    December 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. treasure781

    @ phil. learn how to spell before you spew your hate.

    December 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. treasure781

    @ phil. learn how to spell before you spew your hate. do you read?

    December 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. treasure781

    racism is a learned behavior. hate is a learned behavior. being gay is a learned behavior.

    December 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. phil

    781...pardon me. at least i use upper-case letters once in a while. he-he. Spew hate? Who am I showing hatred for? MalcomX or the KKK? What I posted about X is true. And I left it up to Jim Brieske to fill you in on the KKK. why u hatin' on me bra?

    December 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. phil

    "muslems" is spelled muslims btw. (he-he) I'm thinking you just don't like what I post, and you are overly critical of my spelling (which is better than my punctuation) for that very reason. Obviously it's not because you have mastered the art of spelling. plus you don't even know me. Do you get in the face of total strangers on the street for this? I highly doubt it.

    December 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RUFFNUTT

    i think he spelled muslims, muslems cause the E stands for explosive.

    December 21, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
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