Forests set to return to Canada’s extreme north

University of Montreal scientists studying the fossilized remains of an ancient forest inside the Arctic circle think that our warming climate could soon see the return of hickory, oak, spruce and willow to this hostile environment.

The fossilized forest, located on Bylot Islandin Nunavut, is between 2.6 and 3 million years old according to paleomagnetic analyses (looking at how the Earth’s magnetic field has affected the magnetic sediment in rocks).

Alexandre Guertin-Pasquier, of the University of Montreal’s Department of Geography, said the ancient wood samples have been preserved throughout the eons in peat and by permafrost. “We studied the sediments in the forest and discovered pollen that are usually found in climates where the annual average temperature is around 0 degrees Celsius [32 Fahrenheit],” he explained. By comparison, current average conditions on Bylot Island are around -15& #176;C (5& #176;F).

But Guertin-Pasquier thinks our warming climate could one day see the return of these forests. “According to the data model, climate conditions on Bylot Island will be able to support the kinds of trees we find in the fossilized forest that currently exist there, such as willow, pine and spruce. I’ve also found evidence of a possible growth of oak and hickory near the study site during this period,” he said. “Although it would of course take time for a whole forest to regrow, the findings show that our grandchildren should be able to plant a tree and watch it grow.”

Guertin-Pasquier hopes to investigate the Bylot Island site further to answer some of the questions that continue to puzzle scientists. “There is so much mystery that surrounds this forest – for example, how these trees managed to survive the relentless dark of the Arctic winter.”

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Arctic warming causing increased snowfalls?
Missing tree rings invalidate climate reconstructions
CO2 “inertia” makes significant climatic disruption inevitable

Source: University of Montreal

, , ,

Comments are closed.
ONTARIO CANADA SOUVENIR SPOON 3D TOP MAP SILVER-TONE 4.25" VTG RETRO COLLECTOR
$6.42 ONTARIO CANADA SOUVENIR SPOON 3D TOP MAP SILVER-TONE 4.25
Canada Dry SPORT COLA Vintage Bottle Cap, Philadelphia
$8.95 Canada Dry SPORT COLA Vintage  Bottle Cap, Philadelphia picture
CN TOWER TORONTO CANADA VINTAGE BEER BOTTLE OPENER ADVERTISING SOUVENIR
$5.7 CN TOWER TORONTO CANADA VINTAGE BEER BOTTLE OPENER ADVERTISING SOUVENIR picture
vintage blk & white photo on cardboard NAUWIGCWAUK CC CANADA photo 3 1/2 x 4 1/2
$2.99 vintage blk & white photo on cardboard NAUWIGCWAUK CC CANADA photo 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 picture
Commonwealth Wartime Aircrew Reunion Canada June 1992 souvenir beer stein
$6.18 Commonwealth Wartime Aircrew Reunion Canada June 1992 souvenir beer stein  picture

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes