Wildfires burned Antarctica 75 million years in the past, charcoal remnants reveal


Dinosaurs try to flee a wildfire on Antarctica in the course of the late Cretaceous. (Image credit score: Illustration by Maurilio Oliveira; De Lima, F.J. et al. Polar Research (2021); CC BY 4.0)

Raging wildfires tore via Antarctica 75 million years in the past, again when dinosaurs nonetheless roamed the Earth, a brand new examine finds.

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During the late Cretaceous period (100 million to 66 million years in the past), one of many warmest intervals on Earth, Antarctica’s James Ross Island was house to a temperate forest of conifers, ferns and flowering crops referred to as angiosperms, in addition to to a slew of dinosaurs. But it wasn’t a total paradise; historical paleo-fires burned elements of these forests to a crisp, abandoning charcoal remnants that scientists have now scooped up and studied.

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