Global Warming Article Synopsis

Studies Portray Tropical Arctic in Distant Past

vy Andrew C. Revkin
Courtesy The New York Times


The first detailed analysis of an extraordinary climactic and biological record from the seabed near the North Pole shows that 55 million years ago the Arctic Ocean was much warmer than scientists imagined—a Floridian year–round average of 74 degrees.

The findings, published today in three papers in the Journal Nature, fill in a blank spot in scientists’ understanding of climate change history. And while they show that much remains to be learned about climate change, they suggest that scientists have greatly underestimated the power of heat–trapping gases to warm the Arctic.


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