Scientists stunned by fossils found deep beneath Greenland’s ice sheet

Looking through the back of your freezer can unearth all manner of goodies that you’d likely forgotten about, but probably nothing quite as surprising as a discovery made at the back of a freezer at the University of Copenhagen.

A 15-foot tube of ice and dirt from Greenland, recovered in 1966 by a US military team that’d drilled over a mile down into the ice, was analyzed for the first time in 2019 — and there was much more than just sand and dirt in the samples.

In addition, the discovery suggests that Greenland could be more vulnerable to human-induced climate change than we first thought, given evidence that most of the ice sheet has melted away at least once before in history — and that was without the aid of human greenhouse gases and emissions.’

Publisher: CNET
Author: Steph Panecasio
Twitter: @CNET
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Scientists stunned to discover plants beneath mile-deep Greenland ice: Long-lost ice core provides direct evidence that giant ice sheet melted off within the last million years and is highly vulnerable to a warming climate

In 1966, US Army scientists drilled down through nearly a mile of ice in northwestern Greenland — and pulled up a fifteen-foot-long tube of dirt from the bottom. Then this frozen sediment was lost in a freezer for decades. It was accidentally rediscovered in 2017.

In 2019, University of Vermont scientist Andrew Christ looked at it through his microscope — and couldn’t believe what he was seeing: twigs and leaves instead of just sand and rock. That suggested that the ice was gone in the recent geologic past — and that a vegetated landscape, perhaps a boreal forest, stood where a mile-deep ice sheet as big as Alaska stands today.

Publisher: ScienceDaily
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Scientists Stunned to Discover Plants Beneath Mile-Deep Greenland Ice ‘ And Why This Is So Troubling

Most of Greenland is covered with ice today. But a new study shows that within the last million years it melted off and became covered with green tundra, perhaps like this view of eastern Greenland, on the coast near the ocean. The research provides strong evidence that Greenland is more sensitive to climate change than previously understood’and at risk of irreversibly melting. Credit: Joshua Brown/UVM

The discovery helps confirm a new and troubling understanding that the Greenland ice has melted off entirely during recent warm periods in Earth’s history ‘ periods like the one we are now creating with human-caused climate change.

Publisher: SciTechDaily
Date: 2021-03-15T12:00:54-07:00
Author: Mike O 039 Neill
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