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New research indicates a 'troubled' greenhouse is brewing

led times of 55 million years ago."

However, Retallack says these findings indicate it is unlikely that super storms will freeze North America and Europe, as depicted in the recent movie "The Day After."

"During the greenhouse spike of 55 million years ago, tropical mangroves and rain forests spread as far north as England and Belgium and as far south as Tasmania and New Zealand," Retallack says. "Turtles, alligators and palm trees graced Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, which is now the treeless abode of musk oxen and polar bears."

The bottom line? A new Ice Age is probably the least of our worries.

"Frostbite and snow-blindness are less likely to be in our future than heat stroke and malaria," Retallack asserts. "Mint julep, anyone?"

Buried soils have long been known as sources of evidence of past rainfall, but Retallack says they also can be used to determine the seasonality of rainfall as well as the amount of rainfall because the spread within the profile of carbonate nodules is related to the difference in precipitation between the driest and wettest month. Retallack uses this feature in ancient soils to reinterpret past climates.

Retallack is an authority on paleosols (ancient soils) and is writing a book about healing the global greenhouse. His textbook, "Soils of the Past: An Introduction to Paleopedology," is widely used on college and university campuses. At the UO since 1981, his research is funded by the National Science Foundation.


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Source:University of Oregon


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