Ice core investigations by Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Copenhagen, demonstrate that Greenland was much warmer during the last Interglacial Period than at any time more recently.
This kind of information should not be altogether surprising, but it does demonstrate incontrovertably the fact that the Earth’s climate has been significantly warmer in the past than it is today as the result of natural processes completely unconnected to any possible human agency.
Ice-covered Greenland really was green a half-million or so years ago, covered with forests in a climate much like that of Sweden and eastern Canada today.
An international team of researchers recovered ancient DNA from the bottom of an ice core that indicates the presence of pine, yew and alder trees as well as insects.
The researchers, led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, say the findings are the first direct proof that there was forest in southern Greenland.
Included were genetic traces of butterflies, moths, flies and beetles, they report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.
The material was recovered from cores drilled through ice 1.2 miles thick at a site called Dye 3 in south central Greenland.
Hat tip to Scott Drum.