Ancient prehistoric trees discovered in Alaska

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#1)  Ancient prehistoric trees discovered in Alaska

Postby morgan » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:59 am

The melting of the glaciers in Alaska has uncovered a forest of trees that grew during the Medieval Warming period 1100 years ago and were buried under glaciers during the Little Ice Age.

http://www.livescience.com/39819-ancien ... thaws.html

The are finding hemlock and spruce in such good condition they are able to count the tree rings!!
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#2)  Re: Ancient prehistoric trees discovered in Alaska

Postby Don » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:03 pm

Morgan-
Thanks for the web article!  Always interested in ancient trees, and ancient trees in Alaska.
More and more of such occurrences can be expected, as more and more of our glaciers continue to recede. From my perspective, it's all happening very fast.
In 1996, as part of a multi-resource inventory here in Alaska, I travelled by helicopter to a plot where we had a 1954 topo map showing a glacier covering it, and a 1980's Landsat image that showed the glacier at the edge of it.  By 1996, it had receded perhaps a half mile, with pioneering plant communities already occupying the plot.
It's unsettling to see "geologic" or at the least "glacial" time pass so quickly.
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org
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#3)  Re: Ancient prehistoric trees discovered in Alaska

Postby morgan » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:49 pm

Climate change is serious business. I read heavily about the Scandinavian colonies in Greenland between 986 AD and 1400 AD. There were about 4000 Norwegian/Danish settlers there raising cattle and sheep, growing wheat and barley, there were dozens of bustling villages with churches and a brewery. There was very busy ice-free shipping between Greenland and Denmark that was open at all times of the year, heavy trade in Greenland with especially whale oil being their main export. A graveyard from around 1300 was exhumed, they found the clothes they wore were normal warm weather clothes. This was on the west coast of Greenland around 65 degrees latitude. Nothing on the east coast. The eskimos lived only in northern and northwest Greenland, even as high as the northern tip of Greenland 82 degrees latitude. That's how warm it was.

Around 1400 it got much colder, all the Danish crops started failing due to the cold, and the sea became so full of ice there was no longer any shipping lanes open to Denmark, and the Danish population of Greenland went very low. The eskimos moved down from northern Greenland because of the cold, attacked and took over what was left of the villages.

Now as the ice recedes they are finding stone buildings there 1000 years old.
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#4)  Re: Ancient prehistoric trees discovered in Alaska

Postby Rand » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:40 pm

Found some historical images of the Mendenhall glacier retreating over time:

               
                       
Mendenhall-1958.jpg
                                       
               


               
                       
Mendenhall-2010-Beedle.jpg
                                       
               



There are two other intermediate images roughly half way down this page:

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/02/27/weekend-diversion-jewels-of-th/

Also found this really stunning time lapse of the ice flowing down the Columbia Glacier:

http://vimeo.com/5414354
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