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. ProtoMan

    I was about to ask you the same thing. Haha. I examine the bible and you call me a believer. Someone else defends it and you ignore them. You are truly a gift to this world. Lol I'm off to SCHOOL and WORK now. You have fun with your unemployment, your dro, and your lack of IQ. Buh bye

    December 21, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. DemonSerpent

    Bwawhh... (Inaudible) argg!... Did you take your meds!? Growlss.. (Inaudible).. Koolaid! Argghhhhh... Swordfighting!!!
    Father Maji: "The power of Christ compels you!! Be gone from this child oh dark demon!!" Lol lol

    December 21, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    @Protoman...back then, yes. Only the Israelite's found favor in God's eyes back then. Such is not the case today, because the Israelites turned away from serving God. So He turned his attention to other peoples looking for honest-hearted individuals. He sent his first-born son Jesus to us in this endeavor, and the Christian faith was born. Now, people of all nations can find favor in God's eyes. I think this "hypocricy" you claim only holds water if you believe Israel remains God's chosen nation to this day.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. phil

    @Protoman...ignore them. You are a good person with eyes that see and a mind filled with wisdom. Responding to the rabble is like throwing pearls at swine or putting an ear-ring on a pig.

    December 21, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. ProtoMan

    @phil: you said you weren't a believer. Lol now you are? Make up my mind please. I don't think a kind and just God would condone slavery. There are no chosen people on this planet. All of our ancestors have blood on our hands. We are all slaves as long as wealth and greed exist. The Bible nor Jesus have done anything to fix this fact which is why I don't follow any religion. Gtg now

    December 21, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. phil

    @Protoman...if you haven't already, I invite you to go to the Moon thread and read my posts. esp the chair mtn. one and an interesting quote from vonBraun.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. phil

    @Protoman...I said I wasn't a Christian. My lifestyle runs contrary to the requirements. I set out trying to prove the bible was wrong so that I could do whatever I wanted with a clean consience. I ended up becoming a believer, but even today I cannot call myself a Christian w/o being a hypocrite. And God hates hypocrites.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. GeorgeZipppp

    My mummified poo is the secret.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. ProtoMan

    Gotcha phil. I've got stuff to do, but you take care.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. GeorgeZipppp

    Amazing how religious fanatics can grab any headline and use it as a springboard to launch their increasingly implausible, childish rants about their god(s) and religion. Sweet Dreams, the Eurythmics lamented: "some of them want to use you, some of them want to get used by you."

    The people in power (religious leaders), will do anything to remain in power, including lying, murdering, stealing, etc. and will justify their behavior by telling their subjects whatever they want to hear.

    The followers (subjects) will submit as slaves, because on the surface, it seems to be the path of least resistance to have all the answers to lifes mysteries provided for them, and the rationale that any act, no matter how heinous can be forgiven by uttering a few magical phrases. How neat!

    Unfortunately, it's all a lie. As Jim Morrison said: "You're all a bunch of fu*@ing slaves."

    I'd rather be dead.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    @Phil: Excellent simile, " throwing pearls at swine...," dam well get's the point across.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Brieske

    Protoman. Do not attribute words to me I have not expressed.
    1.) I want murderers to die IMMEDIATELY and publicly within one hour of receiving the death penalty. This will tell every man thinking of killing a young woman, I better not because I will be executed live on television right after I get the death penalty. I won't be getting 20 years of Seinfeld reruns.
    2.) I don't want gay men to die slowly either. I don't recall writing that. If I did then I take it back. There's enough of them available (probably 20 of them living around Protoman) for the happy rate that are dying off and being sent to Hell each day.
    However I do want the Gay men in the military lined up against a wall and shot. They are a security risk, more so than our enemies. Gay men having influenced a bunch of well known morons in the U.S. Senate and House into doing something that involves disregarding God. God does not like sodomy. Two men b^tt/f'king each other is disgusting.
    I am smarter than everyone in the U.S. Senate and House.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sweet

    Every body should read the Bible beleiver or not, so when it comes down to it you may at least discuss it with some lucidity. God does not condone slavery at all. Look at our Civil War guys. As Abraham Lincoln put it both sides beleived in the same God, read the same Bible, and prayed for their respective causes but only one side could win- favor was with the non slavery Union. Let us remember in the South that many preachers preached to keep slaves in submission and otherwise decent ppl in the dark about how God feels bout slavery. Like was said earlier you can not just take someone's word about the Word of God you must delve into it yourself. And as long as there is greed and money(the love of money is the root of all evil), you must look past deceptions and find what the living God has to say. Why is it so hard to conceive that God made this world and stuff in seven days? God can do anything but sin and yes he would have made full grown plants and animals as he did humans.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yep

      I'll pass...I'm not into reading fiction.

      December 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sweet

    look at the damage we have done to the world just since the dark ages. A few hundred years. how could earth be hundreds of millions of years old? We would not be here I think. And this forest is not that old. Just more prophaganda to get folks to be deceived and accept the lies of man. The serpent in the garden is Satan, a fallen angel who "is the father of lies" Read that account really well. I know that when siembe is done right it goes right along with the laws of God. Look at Newton. The Catholic church wanted him to go away because he was speaking truths that would open eyes and get ppl to stop listening to the church. He was not a opposed to the Word of God but he found out how God had made certian laws that were unerring on matter what the church said. And the church did not like that.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sweet

    Science sorry for the typo

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