Even if rainforests near the South Pole might sound far-fetched, there’s new research that shows the fact that the Antarctic climate has been much warmer about 90 million years ago.
Fox News revealed that the team of British and German scientists had examined forest soil from the Cretaceous period within 559 miles of the South Pole.
Analyzing roots, pollen, and spores in the soil
The team of experts analyzed the preserved roots, pollen, and spores in the soil.
“The preservation of this 90-million-year-old forest is exceptional, but even more surprising is the world it reveals. Even during months of darkness, swampy temperate rainforests were able to grow close to the South Pole, revealing an even warmer climate than we expected,” co-author Tina van de Flierdt stated.
The work was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. This study is challenging some of the climate models of the mid-Cretaceous period, which was about 115 to 80 million years ago, and suggested that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were higher than previously thought.
The mid-Cretaceous is known to have been the warmest period on Earth over the past 140 million years, with the sea levels being 300 to 660 feet higher than they are today.
Experts examined sediment from near the Pine Island
Experts examined a core of sediment drilled into the seabed that’s near the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica.
Fox News also revealed that after a CT scan was conducted of the core, experts found a dense network of fossil roots that has been very well preserved. It’s also important to mention the fact that the same also contained a lot of traces of pollen and spores from plants, which include the first remnants of flowering plants found at these high Antarctic latitudes.
Experts believe that 90 million years ago, the Antarctic continent used to be covered with vibrant and dense vegetation.