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Ancient Climate Change Greened Antarctica

Nathan — PlanetSave — June 18, 2012

Ancient Antarctica was much warmer and wetter than was previously thought, according to a new study just released in the journal Nature Geoscience. The climate supported lush vegetation, including stunted trees, along Antarctica’s coastline.

The research was done by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and included researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Examining the plant leaf wax remnants in sediment core samples that were taken from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, the researchers found that summer temperatures along the Antarctic coast 15 to 20 million years ago were 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) warmer than today, with temperatures getting as high as 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). The researchers also found that the precipitation levels then were several times higher than today.

Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/1eScv)

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