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Amazing 1 mill old plant fossils under the Greenlandic Ice sheet

Andrew J. Christ from University of Vermont and co-workers have described well-preserved fossil plants in the sediment at the bottom of the Camp Century ice core in northwestern Greenland. Fossils suggest at least two ice-free warm periods in the past few million years. The study suggests that the Greenland ice sheet has melted and re-formed at least once during the past million years. Empetrum is one of the described plant species, a dwarf evergreen shrubs in the heath family Ericaceae. They are commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere, from temperate to subarctic climates.

This could be the landscape near Camp Century for less than 1 mill years ago. The photo is from Blæsedalen at Disko Island in West Greenland.

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