Reptiles Enjoyed Warm Arctic
An article written by ABC News writer Kenneth Chang discusses the change in climate of the arctic from ninety million years ago. Seven hundred miles from the North Pole, lies an island called Axel Heiberg, a barren land that scientists have dug up fossil bones of a cold-blooded reptile known as a champsosaur.
How does this happen in an arctic, freezing land? How does a reptile that needs the warmth of the sun to survive, live in a frigid climate? Well, we know they lived on Axel Heiberg, so at one point in time the island was obviously somewhat tropical. It was probably something like Florida or Georgia currently is, except some ninety million years ago. Temperatures were likely to average almost sixty degrees Fahrenheit, with summer temperatures getting into the eighties and even nineties. The same cannot be said about the current Axel Heiberg climate. Nowadays, summer sees snowfall, and winter temperatures routinely hit minus sixty degrees Fahrenheit.
Granted, it's been millions of years, but what causes this kind of climate change? Gigantic lava flows could be the answer. In 1996, 30-foot-thick layers of rock were discovered on Axel Heiberg Island. These layers were caused by one single volcanic eruption. Similar eruptions in Iceland and Hawaii caused 3-foot layers. This is a very big difference in the lava flows. Similar flows have been discovered in the Caribbean, Pacific Ocean, South Africa, and even Southwest United States. These eruptions could distribute Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere. Magma rose from the earth's center, shooting "heat-trapping" Carbon Dioxide molecules into the air, which raises the temperatures. This is the same CO2 problem that is occurring right now in our world. We see this in the Greenhouse Effect, which eventually leads into Global Warming.
The Greenhouse Effect, which is defined as " the warming of an atmosphere by its absorbing and...
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