UVM scientists stunned to discover plants beneath mile-deep Greenland ice

Posted: March 16, 2021 by oldbrew in climate, History, Natural Variation, research
Tags: ,

Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]


This article asserts that climate changes, namely warm periods that it tells us have happened many times before in recent history, can now be attributed to humans if they happen again.
– – –
In 1966, US Army scientists drilled down through nearly a mile of ice in northwestern Greenland—and pulled up a fifteen-foot-long tube of dirt from the bottom, says the University of Vermont.

Then this frozen sediment was lost in a freezer for decades. It was accidentally rediscovered in 2017.

In 2019, University of Vermont scientist Andrew Christ looked at it through his microscope—and couldn’t believe what he was seeing: twigs and leaves instead of just sand and rock.

That suggested that the ice was gone in the recent geologic past—and that a vegetated landscape, perhaps a boreal forest, stood where a mile-deep ice sheet as big as Alaska stands today.

Over the last year, Christ and an international team of scientists—led by Paul Bierman at UVM, Joerg Schaefer at Columbia University and Dorthe Dahl-Jensen at the University of Copenhagen—have studied these one-of-a-kind fossil plants and sediment from the bottom of Greenland.

Their results show that most, or all, of Greenland must have been ice-free within the last million years, perhaps even the last few hundred-thousand years.

“Ice sheets typically pulverize and destroy everything in their path,” says Christ, “but what we discovered was delicate plant structures—perfectly preserved. They’re fossils, but they look like they died yesterday. It’s a time capsule of what used to live on Greenland that we wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.”

The discovery helps confirm a new and troubling understanding that the Greenland ice has melted off entirely during recent warm periods in Earth’s history—periods like the one we are now creating with human-caused climate change. [Talkshop comment – ‘human caused’ = evidence-free assertion].

Understanding the Greenland Ice Sheet in the past is critical for predicting how it will respond to climate warming in the future and how quickly it will melt. Since some twenty feet of sea-level rise is tied up in Greenland’s ice, every coastal city in the world is at risk.

The new study provides the strongest evidence yet that Greenland is more fragile and sensitive to climate change than previously understood—and at grave risk of irreversibly melting off.

“This is not a twenty-generation problem,” says Paul Bierman, a geoscientist at UVM in the College of Arts & Sciences, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources, and fellow in the Gund Institute for Environment. “This is an urgent problem for the next 50 years.”

The new research was published March 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

BENEATH THE ICE

The material for the new PNAS study came from Camp Century, a Cold War military base dug inside the ice sheet far above the Arctic Circle in the 1960s.

The real purpose of the camp was a super-secret effort, called Project Iceworm, to hide 600 nuclear missiles under the ice close to the Soviet Union. As cover, the Army presented the camp as a polar science station.

Full article here.

Comments
  1. JB says:

    “This is an urgent problem for the next 50 years.”
    We desperately need more funding.

    It’s a time capsule of what used to live on Greenland that we wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.”
    Until somebody goes digging for it. After all, they found this one in a cold storage locker.

    “at grave risk of –irreversibly– melting off.”
    Like its done before?

  2. cognog2 says:

    If these scientists were ‘stunned’ then they where not scientists. I’m not a scientist but well know that Greenland spent some of its life sitting near the equator.. 🤯. Seems it’s just another ‘Go fund me’ paper with bells and whistles attached. Interesting nonetheless.

  3. patrick healy says:

    I wonder why its known as Greenland.

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    No. Opportunity Mist Monopoly

    “Since some twenty feet of sea-level rise is tied up in Greenland’s ice, every coastal city in the world is at risk. […] “This is not a twenty-generation problem […] This is an urgent problem for the next 50 years.” “

    Wealthy Dutch (picked as an obvious example) know how best to prepare fiction-lovers for true nature with a perhaps well deserved fantasy narrative.

    Tactical ops consolidate 2 for 1 deal with capitalist power-trippers: “the truly superior” escape notice with grace and dignity.

    Middle-class favorite: wool hat pulled way down for “the most trustworthy” vision, knowing they could get something even worse resisting wealthy designs.

    Ice tune all vision backs “most of all” wealthy-only clubs?

    CRush west turn middle-class addiction from “hi dr. Ama” zone-2 tap ever $0 UN notice ably? Mull IT tory: a stable-flow solution to “the problem” was available for all …but no opportunity was missed buy-disruptors capitalizing the course.

    Financial terrorists (they don’t think of themselves that way — they just think themselves prudent survivors) are undermining the homeland with inverted totalitarianism (IT).

    Better peace and unity methods can find more secure partners 2 deal wisely with “the equitable buck” class.

  5. stpaulchuck says:

    there is zero proof that humans alone can or did change the temperature of Earth.

    There is just supposition using empirical evidence of warming that we did it. Supposedly we did it with “greenhouse gases”. Except. There is no greenhouse. Key to that is the missing mid tropospheric hot spot, which will never appear.

    What another lame attempt at rent seeking. *spit*

  6. It’s nothing to do with Greenland being further south as someone mentioned, that’s a much longer time scale.

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    So evidence that natural variation can melt Greenland is evidence its human CO2 that’s melting Greenland?

    How do you come to that conclusion?

  8. Paul Vaughan says:

    Phoenix44 I suspect if the military (remember they drilled the new clear hole) could answer your question, it would go like this: We are 1 millimeter from absolutely millennial takeover by “The Party”.

  9. oldbrew says:

    They’re going to be waiting a long time for 0.04% of the atmosphere to melt the Greenland ice sheets 🤣

  10. Paul Vaughan says:

    OB, a little mull IT tory iceworm (where IT = inverted totalitarianism) herd nature (real nature – not the political sci11UNs journal) can flood the Dutch coast long before “sea low too”. Furthermore, since the threat is real, alarming the lower class with fiction may make $sense for those elite who-trade secrets assuming honesty will only make the lower class resist their designs$.

    Of course the problem now (for both elite and mole IT eerie) is they can’t save face by coming clean.

    I suggest we focus on the real threats for the right reasons — and peacefully — it has to be done peacefully and we divorce those baiting otherwise instantly without hesitation.

  11. richard says:

    this wouldnt surprise christians.they might expect antarctica to have moved to its location during the global flood

  12. Gamecock says:

    ‘Over the last year, Christ and an international team of scientists—led by Paul Bierman at UVM, Joerg Schaefer at Columbia University and Dorthe Dahl-Jensen at the University of Copenhagen—have studied these one-of-a-kind fossil plants and sediment from the bottom of Greenland.’

    This was written by a journalist, not a scientist.

    ‘International team’ is punch up. Has no bearing on the story.

    And our fine writer has no idea what fossil means.

  13. Had Vostok 3 been drilled to basement, I believe you would have the same result at the 1,000,000 mark. Now this result at Cape Century is at odds with GRIP contact between ice and basement by about 570,000 years. This huge discrepancy in dates needs reconciliation as they are approximately the same stratigraphic position.

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