When the Antarctic featured tropical trees ….
|August 1, 2012||Posted by News under Intelligent Design|
From Tropical Climate in the Antarctic: Palm Trees Once Thrived On Today’s Icy Coasts 52 Million Years Ago, (ScienceDaily, Aug. 1, 2012), we learn,
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.
n an area where the Antarctic ice sheet borders the Southern Ocean today, frost-sensitive and warmth-loving plants such as palms and the ancestors of today’s baobab trees flourished 52 million years ago. The scientists’ evaluations show that the winter temperatures on the Wilkes Land coast of Antarctica were warmer than 10 degrees Celsius at that time, despite three months of polar night. The continental interior, however, was noticeably cooler, with the climate supporting the growth of temperate rainforests characterized by southern beech and Araucaria trees of the type common in New Zealand today. Additional evidence of extremely mild temperatures was provided by analysis of organic compounds that were produced by soil bacteria populating the soils along the Antarctic coast.
The really amazing part was the fact that the plants had to get through months of darkness.
Here’s what the climate was surrealistically like (animal stories interesting, amphibian more scary than dinosaurs, for once; no, really, see it):
Here’s some vid from a Field Museum expedition for fossils, explaining that Antarctica was at one time part of the ancient supercontinent Pangaea, and hadn’t then moved right over the pole: