A small hint discovered in ancient sediments in Greenland has uncovered a number of mysteries about the ancient and the future of Greenland’s climate. Just beyond Greenland’s big ice sheet’s northwestern edge, scientists from the United States’ Northwestern University have detected fossils of several species of lake flies from two different interglacial eras, reported EurekAlert.
Even though the scientists have long been aware that these two time periods – the early Holocene and the final Interglacial – underwent a warming in the Arctic as a result of shifts in the Earth’s orbit, the assemblage of fly species conserved from those times indicates that Greenland was warmer than had been anticipated.
This new data might assist researchers to better gauge Greenland’s susceptibility to warming by probing and refining climate models and ice sheet behaviors. Those climate models might thus enhance forecasts of how Greenland’s ice sheet would respond to increasing human-made global warming.
Ancient Greenland was way warmer than scientists thought
“Northwest Greenland may feel really remote, but what happens to that ice sheet is going to matter to everyone in New York City, Miami and every coastal city in the world,” explains Yarrow Axford from the Earth and Planetary Sciences department at the Northwestern University, the leading author of this study.
The scientists are struggling to observe how quick is the planet changing when it is warming up and now, geological studies on Greenland’s big ice sheet might reveal how the Earth behaved when it was warmer than it is today.
As we speak, northwestern Greenland records a temperature of about 30 degrees F (about -40 degrees Celsius) but, during the last two interglacial eras, the temperatures were even higher in Ancient Greenland. Even more, during the last interglacial era, sea levels rose by about 5 meters because of a massive thaw of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.
According to the scientists, after studying the sediments and the remnants of the species of lake flies found in Greenland, the temperatures during the summer even reached 50 degrees F (about 10 degrees Celsius) in Ancient Greenland.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.