A lushly Green Land

29 Sep 2011

Greenland was once a tropical country - near the equator - or was it? Scientists from the Smithsonian have the evidence from rocks they have collected (see www.ku-prism.org/polarscientist/losttribes/Jan131897Boston.html ). During the Cretaceous era Greenland was covered in a tropical rainforest and the same situation has been noted in NE America and Spitzbergen. The theory is that average global temperatures at this time were high - for example, much of the chalk in southern Britain and northern France was laid down in the Cretaceous, when the region was submerged in a warm shallow sea situation. Obviously, one and one are assumed to make three and the fact that sea covered what is now dry land is assumed to mean that global temperatures in the Cretaceous were higher - an episode of global warming without coal fired power stations and 4x4s. 

Even in the Tertiary period Greenland was full of trees such as Chestnut, Oak, Hickory, Birch, Beech, Willow, Poplar and Magnolias. Precisely the same flora has been found during the same period on Iceland, Spitzbergen, the Yukon, Alaska, and various other places in or near the present Arctic Circle - so what was going on?

For obvious reasons Pole shift is not mentioned - after all, this is mainstream science. Neither is Continental Drift. What is mentioned is that the climate on Greenland can be warmer and has been warmer - even in recent times. Generally, the Medieval Warm Period is not usually mentioned in the same breath as AGW - it is perceived as an embarrassment. Hence, it is a peculiarity as the piece goes on to say the Norse were navigating northern waters now too dangerous for such boats, and the remains of Norse settlements litter the coastline of western Greenland. Nowadays, glaciers fill the fiords.