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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Plant Fossils and Rapid Climate Change

Plant Fossils and Rapid Climate Change

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, March 28, 2018/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, video, sustainability, art and design, environment, climate change, plants

  Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases Emissions Graphic (credit: Smithsonian Institution, Washington Post, YouTube)

What can fossil plants tells us about ancient climate change? Actually, a great deal.

Recent discoveries from a era of rapid climate change 56 million years ago offer a true warning of what can environmentally and ecologically occur when run-away greenhouse gases fill the atmosphere. Paleontologists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have discovered catastrophic climate change happened during the Paleoscene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) by investigating fossils from plants from that ancient era.

Scott Wing from the museum explains the existential importance of their discovery. The plant fossils in the Museum's collection record a cautionary tale of catastrophic climate change that everyone should know.



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