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21 December 2010

A (really really) Old Farmer’s Almanac: A record of specific weather patterns 55 million years ago

San Francisco will be rainy through this week, but I am learning about weather 55 million years ago, as recorded in the rings of ancient trees found in a coal seam on Ellesmere Island, above the Arctic Circle.

The trees caught the interest of University of Hawaii geologists Hope Jahren and Brian Schubert and their collaborators. “The wood is of spectacular preservation,“ Jahren said during her Thursday afternoon talk given in session B44B. “This is mummified wood”–wood that somehow avoided petrification.


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