|About 3 million years ago, Greenland looked like the green Alaskan tundra. |
Now however a team of university scientists and a NASA colleague were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. The team reported their discovery on April 17 in the journal Science.
Just think! Greenland was really Green 3 million years ago.
The discovery indicates that even during the warmest periods since the ice sheet formed, the center of Greenland remained stable. This allowed a tundra landscape to be locked away, unmodified, under ice through millions of years of global warming and cooling.
“The traditional knowledge about glaciers is that they are very powerful agents of erosion and can effectively strip a landscape clean. Instead, we demonstrate that the Greenland Ice Sheet is not acting as an agent of erosion; in fact, at it’s center, it has performed incredibly little erosion since its inception almost three million years ago,” said co-author Lee Corbett, a graduate student at the University of Vermont. (source)The paper, published in DOI: Paul R. Bierman et al