Arctic Once Felt Like Florida, Studies Say

By ANDREW C. REVKIN, The New York Times
May 31, 2006

The first detailed analysis of an extraordinary climatic and biological record from the seabed near the North Pole shows that 55 million years ago the Arctic was much warmer than anyone had thought — a Floridian year-round average of 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

The findings, in three separate papers in the issue of the journal Nature that comes out on Thursday, show how much remains to be learned about climate change, both natural and human-caused. But experts say that if anything, the papers suggest that scientists have greatly underestimated the power of greenhouse gases to warm the planet.

Read more, including comments from ESSC geoscientist Dr. Richard Alley >>