New Land is Uncovered as the Ice Sheets Continue to Melt

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The continuous melting process of the Antarctic ice has uncovered patches of land that saw the last sunrays more than 120,000 years ago.

The zones have been covered in a thick layer of ice since the Eemian, a period that was even warmer as the global temperature was higher by  2 degrees Celsius (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sea levels were considerably bigger by 9 meters(or 30 feet) in comparison to the levels reached in the present.

According to some researchers the 20th century was the warmest one in comparison to all the others that have passed in the last 120,000.

Well preserved remains

A team of researchers is currently exploring some of the zones that have been recently uncovered. One of the cases is represented by a Canadian island. In the middle of the island the researchers were able to discover tundra plains that were covered in ice caps. Since the plains are completely flat the ice caps didn’t move in comparison to normal glaciers. Everything that was caught under them as they formed has remained surprising y well-preserved.

Some of the samples that have been recorded include Arctic plants and mosses that are ancient. The vegetation will be destroyed by the weather condition in mere months after the ice melts, which makes them very important as the researchers try to track them down before they are compromised.

The researchers use radiocarbon dating in order to determine the exact age of the samples. More than 120 samples have been recovered from 30 locations and it likely that more will be found in the near future. The samples are at least 40,000 years old according to the tests. They could be older since 40,000 is the maximum accuracy threshold for radiocarbon tests.

As the centuries have passed the world continued to transform. The last ice age took place more than forty thousand years ago, when most of the current ice deposits formed.


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