December 1, 2020

Fossil Remains of Prehistoric Rain Forest Near South Pole

1 min read

Buried sediment extracted from the seafloor off West Antarctica contains ancient pollen, fossilized roots and other chemical evidence of a diverse forest that flourished millions of years ago, less than a thousand kilometers from the South Pole. During the mid-Cretaceous Period from 83 to 92 million years ago, there was a flourishing rain forest with an average annual temperature of 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit with summer temperatures reaching between 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

During this period, the CO2 rate was estimated to be at least 1000 parts per million (more closer to 1,120 to 1,680 parts per million). Currently, the CO2 level is 407 parts per million.

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