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When Greenland was green in warmer times

April 17, 2014

Watts Up With That?

From the University of Vermont

Science: There’s something ancient in the icebox

Researchers find 3-million-year-old landscape beneath Greenland Ice Sheet

In this one-minute video, University of Vemont scientists demonstrate how they discovered 3 million-year-old soil under the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything—vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice.

“We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years,” said University of Vermont geologist Paul Bierman—providing strong evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming.

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