Antarctica Once Had Tropical Climate; Global Warming May Bring it Back

Via Science News:

A group of German scientists has discovered that the coast of Antarctica was once a tropical paradise:

An international team led by scientists from the Goethe University and the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt, Germany, has discovered an intense warming phase around 52 million years ago in drill cores obtained from the seafloor near Antarctica — a region that is especially important in climate research. The study published in the journal Nature shows that tropical vegetation, including palms and relatives of today’s tropical Baobab trees, was growing on the coast of Antarctica 52 million years ago. These results highlight the extreme contrast between modern and past climatic conditions on Antarctica and the extent of global warmth during periods of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Atmospheric CO2 levels were significantly higher then, about double what they are today. The scientists say that if CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels continue at their current rate, they’ll match past conditions in a few hundred years.

Read more at Science News.

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10 Comments on "Antarctica Once Had Tropical Climate; Global Warming May Bring it Back"

  1. psyminion | Aug 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

    more like evidence of pole-shifts… 

    • Rex Vestri | Aug 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm |

       Exactly!  That’s the first thing I thought too. You beat me to it. 

      I kinda wonder whether we’re about to see a polar shift happen when all the planets line up at the end of this year.

  2. Bored with this | Aug 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    I have no interest in the future of man kind. 

  3. Rod Stuart | Aug 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm |

    So, let’s see now, Antarctica was a tropical paradise in the past. Was that due to anthropogenic CO2 or perhaps one of the other several thousand drivers for climate change? Oh, and BTW, Polar bears live on the OPPOSITE side of the planet. This is a publication produced by total WANKERS.

  4. 56 million years ago
    humans were just a gleam in the eye of some small primate
    living in the rain forest of Antarctica

  5. Robinharwood | Aug 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm |

    I see you have removed the picture of the polar bear. 
    Arctic – bears
    Anarctic – penguins.

    This is the sort of thing you were supposed to learn when you were nine, at the same time as you were learning that whales are not fish, apes are not monkeys, and camels do not store water in their humps.

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  7. What happened to the polar beer picture?? 

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