Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ancient Landscape Is Found Under 2 Miles Of Ice In Greenland


In a surprising discovery, scientists have found evidence of a tundra landscape in Greenland that's millions of years old. The revelation goes against widely held ideas about how some glaciers work, and it suggests that at least parts of Greenland's ice sheet had survived periods of global warming intact.
"Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander," a news release from the University of Vermont says. "As they move over the land they scrape off everything — vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock."
That's why researchers from several universities and NASA say they were "greatly surprised" to find signs that an ancient tundra had been preserved beneath 2 miles of ice in Greenland, in a study that was published this week in the journal Science.
"We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years," says University of Vermont geologist and lead author Paul Bierman.  npr

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