Canada's Most Northern Forest Under Study

Scientists from Ohio State University are studying the mummified remains of an ancient forest found in 2009 at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. They hope it will shed some light in reverse on how the arctic will respond to climate change. The mummified forest has revealed birch and spruce trees were struggling to survive when they were struck with a landslide. Unlike other more southerly sites, this forest was not diverse and the tree rings are close together. 

At this site, the leaves, roots and branches are not petrified (converted to rock), they are mummified (dried just like Egyptian mummies) and will still burn.

As the permafrost and glaciers retreat with climate change, scientists expect to find more northern forests.

Click on the following links for more information. 

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/mumforestpix.htm (photos)

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/mumforest.htm (story)

http://www.greatcanadianparks.com/nunavut/ellesnp/index.htm (Ellesmere Island National Park)

By Pat Kerr

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