The following will certainly surprise more than a few of us –
In the mid-Cretaceous Period, about 90 million years ago, dense concentrations of atmospheric CO2 would have created much hotter global temperatures, melting polar ice sheets, and sending sea levels soaring to up to 170 metres (558 feet) higher than they are today.
In other words – “The coast of West Antarctica was, back then, a dense temperate, swampy forest, similar to the forests found in New Zealand today” says palaeoecologist Ulrich Salzmann from Northumbria University in the UK.
This remarkable discovery was possible thanks to the 2017 expedition aboard the RV Polarstern in the Amundsen Sea, researchers drilled deep into the ground underneath the seabed of West Antarctica, close to the location of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, and only about 900 kilometres (560 miles) away from the South Pol.
First seen on Science Alert
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