Glaciers melting in Canda have uncovered areas of land that have been covered in ice for around 40,000 years.
Whether you want to admit it or not, global warming is happening and it is happening fast. Temperatures around the world are becoming more erratic. The ice caps are melting. Sea levels are rising. It is really not good news. The most worrying thing about it all is that some researchers believe we are beyond the point of no return, no matter what we do to try and reverse the damage we have done.
Let's try not to get too bogged down in the depressing side of it all, though. Yes, shockingly, there is a sort of silver lining to global warming, albeit a very faint one. Scientists have been able to get their hands on and examine specimens that have been covered in ice for 40,000 years, reports CNN.
Scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder gathered 48 mosses and lichens from Baffin Island where the ice caps are retreating at an alarming rate. Using radiocarbon dating, it was discovered that many of the samples gathered had been encased in ice for 40,000 years. Interestingly, the species discovered were all very similar to the ones still growing on the island today, although that is not unexpected due to the time scale being thousands of years as opposed to millions.
Sadly, it's not all about getting to see and find things that have been hidden from view for 40,000 years. That's right, back to the depressing stuff. Normally the ice on higher points of Baffin Island would last a lot longer due to its elevation. However, even those areas are quickly becoming uncovered. All of these discoveries have led scientists to the conclusion that particular area is currently experiencing its warmest century in 115,000 years.
When reading the latest global warming news, you likely expect it to be all doom and gloom. As we laid out above, at least there is a positive to take from this latest discovery. However, when the sea levels do eventually rise to a point where some of our low-lying coastal towns and cities begin to be submerged, discovering 40,000-year-old plants will probably not feel like that great a trade-off.