Antarctica used to be a tropical oasis

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Forget glacial melt - get a load of what scientists say Antarctica used to be like.

Researchers on the sparsely inhabited continent have been studying drill cores off the coast of Antarctica, and found some surprising results.

For example, they discovered pollen and micro-fossils that confirm various tropical plants used to thrive in the surrounding region.

In other words, the kind of beautiful plants and vegetation that now exist in Australia, one of the closest continents to Antarctica, once existed on the South Pole.

But don't use this as an argument as to why global warming is hokum. According to the research, published in the journal Nature, that tropical paradise would have existed at a time when there was highly elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

And, they warn, they could reach the same point again if humans don't do something drastic to change their carbon footprint in the immediate future.

Dr. Ian Raine from GNS Science was part of the international and multi-disciplinary team that made the discovery, and he called it a significant finding for furthering our understanding of manmade global warming.

Recently, the once highly notable global warming skeptic Dr. Richard Muller reversed course and said he now fully believes in the theory of human-induced global warming.

Future discoveries like this will likely get others to come on board as well.