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Ancient mosses suggest Canada’s Baffin Island is the hottest it’s been in 45,000 years

Hello, sunshine! Ice-entombed mosses on Canada’s Baffin Island are thawing out for the first time in at least 45,000 years, researchers reported last week at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting. The scientists used radiocarbon dating to figure out when the glacially encased mosses were last capable of photosynthesis—and thus, last exposed to sunlight. They found that some plants were so old, they had no radiocarbon left, putting their age between at least 45,000 and 50,000 years, Science News reports. That means this is the warmest that region has been in thousands of years, suggesting, the researchers say, that atmospheric temperatures are now warm enough “to melt all the ice in the eastern Canadian Arctic.” 

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