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West Antarctica was a dense temperate and swampy forest

A map showing the location of the drilling site
A map showing the drilling site location (click to enlarge)

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 todaysays palaeoecologist Ulrich Salzmann from Northumbria University in the UK.

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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 Pole.

First seen on Science Alert

By Drawing United

Drawing United is a collective of artists, started off by Pierrick Senelaer, who cares for our environment and planet and who want to use their art and creativity to raise awareness and/or support a good cause.

ACT NOW! "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it"Robert Swann

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