Ancient Landscape Found Beneath Greenland Ice Sheet

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greenlandScientists were surprised to make the discovery of an ancient tundra landscape beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, two miles beneath the ice. They have long believed that glaciers work in a similar manner to a belt sander, scraping off everything as they move. According to the science article printed in Science Daily news, the discovery was made by an international team of scientists led by Paul Bierman, a geologist from the University of Vermont. The team found organic soil that had been frozen to the bottom of the Ice Sheet for 2.7 million years.

The discovery was originally reported in the science journal Science on April 17. The discovery indicated to the scientists that, even during the warmest periods from the time that the ice sheet was formed, the center of Greenland remained stable. Bierman commented that it was unlikely that the ice did not fully melt at any time. The tundra stayed intact without any changes under the ice, in spite of millions of years during which global warming and cooling took place.

Co-Author of the report, Dylan Rood, from the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre and the University of California Santa Barbara also states in the report that the ancient soil discovered beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet provides information about a mystery that surrounds the issue of climate change. Scientists have long wondered how big ice sheets melted and grew in response to changes in the temperature.

The Greenland Ice Sheet has long been of interest to scientists, and geologists continue to seek a long-term view of the ice sheet’s history, including details about how it moves and shapes the landscape below. This will help them gain an understanding of what the behavior of the ice might be in the future.

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