Melting glaciers show plants buried in the Canadian Arctic for 40,000 years, in the hottest century for 100,000 years
- In a new study, scientists have collected ancient plants from 30 locations on Baffin Island.
- It is assumed that the vegetation was exposed only after 40,000 ice cover
- The analysis also showed that the present century is the hottest in the last 115,000 years.
The growing global temperatures quickly unearthed ancient landscapes, which spent tens of thousands of years in burial under the ice.
A new study of plants collected from 30 ice caps on the Canadian island of Baffin shows that vegetation was discovered only recently after more than 40,000 continuous years of ice cover.
And this may be the warmest century for the region in 115,000 years.
If warming continues at this pace, researchers warn that an ice island may be completely free of ice for several centuries.
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The growing global temperatures quickly unearthed ancient landscapes, which spent tens of thousands of years in burial under the ice. Photo file
In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, the team used radiocarbon dating to analyze 48 samples of plants from Baffin's ice caps, including ancient mosses and lichens, which were kept for a long time in their original places of growth.
The past few decades have led to unusually high summer temperatures in the area.
"Currently, the Arctic is heating two to three times faster than the rest of the globe, so naturally, glaciers and ice caps will react faster," said Simon Pendleton, lead author and doctoral researcher at the Institute of the Arctic and Alpine University. Boulder. Research (INSTAAR).
Researchers collected samples from this site in August of this year, collecting ancient plants from different heights and exposures.
They also took quartz samples at the gathering sites to establish the age and history of ice cover.
“We travel to retreating icy edges, try newly exposed plants preserved in these ancient landscapes, and date carbon plants to understand when the ice had last moved above this place,” said Pendleton.
“Since dead plants are effectively removed from the landscape, the radiocarbon age of rooted plants determines the last time that summer was on average as warm as in the last century.”
Researchers collected samples from this site in August of this year, collecting ancient plants from different heights and exposures. Two of these sites are shown above.
In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, the team used radiocarbon dating to analyze 48 plant samples from all sides of the Baffin icecap, including ancient mosses and lichens, which have long been preserved in their original places of growth.
Researchers analyzed samples in the laboratory and compared historical data recovered from ice cores to determine what has changed.
The findings suggest that the current temperatures observed in this Arctic region are the hottest in recent centuries over the past 115,000 years.
“Unlike biology, which has spent the last three billion years developing schemes to avoid the effects of climate change, glaciers have no coping strategies,” said Gifford Miller, senior author and professor of geology at CU Boulder.
‘They behave themselves, reacting directly to summer temperatures. If the summer is warm, they immediately retreat; if summer is cool, they will come.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THE ICE SEA LEVEL?
The amount of Arctic sea ice reaches a maximum in March, when winter comes to an end.
NASA recently announced that the maximum amount of sea ice this year was low, after three other record low measurements in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
This can lead to a number of negative effects that affect climate, weather conditions, plant and animal life, and indigenous human communities.
The amount of sea ice in the Arctic is decreasing, and it has dangerous consequences, says NASA
In addition, endangered ice can change shipping routes and affect coastal erosion and ocean circulation.
NASA researcher Claire Parkinson said: “The Arctic sea ice cover continues to decline, and this is due to the continuing warming of the Arctic.
“This is a two-way street: warming means that less ice will form and more ice will melt, but also because there is less ice, less incident solar radiation is reflected, and this contributes to warming.
"This makes them one of the most reliable proxies for changing summer temperatures."
The researchers note that the trends observed in the samples are unusual and are a sign of a rapidly changing environment.
“Usually you expect to see different ages of plants in different topographical conditions,” said Pendleton.
Location A place at high altitude, for example, may hold ice longer. But the magnitude of warming is so high that everything is now melting everywhere.
"We have not seen anything more pronounced than this before."