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23 May 2016

History of Greenland snowfall hidden in ancient leaf waxes

The history of Greenland’s snowfall is chronicled in an unlikely place: the remains of aquatic plants that died long ago, collecting at the bottom of lakes in horizontal layers that document the passing years. Using this ancient record, scientists are attempting to reconstruct how Arctic precipitation fluctuated over the past several millennia, potentially influencing the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet as the Earth warmed and cooled.