What the Arctic's past tells us about future climate

Image from Discover magazineProfessor Ash Ballantyne is part of a group of scientists looking at the Arctic's past as a model for the Arctic's future. This story in Discover magazine (pdf) looks at fossils uncovered from melting permafrost that show how climate models of a future Arctic underestimate how warm it will become. Ballantyne looked a 3.5 million year old larch fossils to determine that temperatures during the mid-Pliocene Arctic were really about 14 degrees warmer than previous estimates suspected. 

Image: Dr. Natalia Rybczynski and colleagures found fossils on the eastern edge of Canada's Arctic Archipelago from a camelid that lived in a boreal-like forest during the mid-Pliocene, shown in this artist's rendering from the Discover magazine story "Cold Case: What Arctic Fossils Reveal About our Future Climate" by Kendall Powell.