Ancient Global Warming Allowed Greening of Antarctica
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Ancient Antarctica was warmer and wetter than previously suspected, enough to support vegetation along its edges, according to a new study published in the 17 June issue of Nature Geoscience. By examining the remnants of plant leaf wax found in sediment cores taken below the Ross Ice Shelf during the ANDRILL project, scientists from the University of Southern California, Louisiana State University, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory determined that 15 to 20 million years ago summer temperatures along the Antarctic coast were 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) warmer than they are today, reaching up to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius); with several times more precipitation.

To learn more, read the story on the University of Southern California External Non-U.S. government site web site and in the U.S. Antarctic Program’s Antarctic Sun External U.S. government site.