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Alaska Beat

'Mummified forest' above Arctic may hold climate change clues

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: July 6, 2016
  • Published December 17, 2010

Discovery of a "mummified forest" in the Canadian Arctic may prove integral to understanding how climate change will impact the Far North, according to a report by CBC News. The discovery was made at Nunavut's Ellesmere Island, north of the Arctic Circle, by a scientist from Ohio State University who said he'd unearthed spruce, pine, larch and birch trees buried in an avalanche between 2 million and 8 million years ago. Research scientist Joel Barker said he was camping above the Arctic Circle in 2009 when he made the find. Evidence suggested that the forest existed when the Arctic was much warmer than it is now; Barker plans to conduct DNA testing on the fossils. Read the full story here. Recent science has concluded that longer, hotter wildfire burn seasons in Alaska may be accelerating the warming of the Arctic.

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