Drilling the seabed off the coast of Antarctica reveals that the rain forests grow in the frozen continent 52 million years ago, as revealed by scientists on Thursday, warned that the region can be returned free of ice over the past few decades.
The study of sediment cores drilled from the seabed off the coast of Antarctica north was discovered fossil pollen that comes from a forest of “tropical” that covered the continent in the Eocene period, 34-56 million years ago.
Kevin Welsh, Australian scientist who undertook an expedition in 2010, said that the analysis of molecules that are sensitive to temperature in the core showed that the area was “very warm” 52 million years ago, about 20 degrees Celsius (68 F).
“There is a forest on land that, there will be no ice at all, there are very warm,” said Welsh told AFP about the study, published in the journal Nature.
“It’s quite surprising, because obviously our picture of Antarctica there are very cool and filled with ice.”
Welsh said that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is considered to be the main driving force of heat and ice-free conditions in Antarctica, with an estimated CO2 levels between 990 to “several thousand” parts per million.
CO2 levels estimated to about 395 ppm, and Welsh said that the most extreme predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will find more ice in Antarctica “at the end of this century.”
“It’s hard to predict, because it really is determined by the actions of the people and government,” said Welsh, an expert in paleoclimatology from the University of Queensland. “It depends on how the use of emissions in the future,” he added.