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A Lush Greenland

14 December 2022
Catastrophism, Geology

At https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-04377-x … we have a new study that concerns the NE part of Greenland, presumably facing the Atlantic. In the present world this is a rather barren region with little animal life apart from the odd musk ox or hare. However, it is claimed that new evidence shows that 2 million years ago this part of Greenland was lush with plant and animal life. The surprising evidence is derived, once more, from DNA in soil sediments, which was recovered from the permafrost. Apparently, the DNA of mastodons and reindeer were  found, living in a forested ecosystem. Interestingly, the sample came from the Kap Kobenshavn geological formation, a 100m thick deposit of frozen mud and sand dated to 2 million years ago. One may wonder how such a deposit was built up – in a slow uniform manner as is assumed by the study authors, or alternatively, very quickly, during a catastrophic event involving a tsunami wave.

In fact, the article appears to add more mischief as DNA of rodents, geese, rabbits and reindeer are said to be surprising. Reindeer aren’t even thought to have existed 2 million years ago, according to the lead author – or not in the modern form. Mastodons are generally thought to have lived in North American forests and their fossilised bones have never been found in Greenland. Hence, it would be interesting to know where all that mud and sand came from. For the article see also https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-04377-x

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