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Fossilized Forest Located in Arctic Norway is Changing the Climate of the Earth

Update Date: Nov 24, 2015 12:18 PM EST

Ancient forests in Arctic Norway have been recently discovered that date back to at least 400 Million years ago. The fossils are an exciting discovery. However, the UK scientists suggests that the trees found may be causing one of the largest shifts in the climate in the history of earth. Senior lecturer at Cardiff University's School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Dr. Chris Berry, recognized the fossil forests in Svalbard, located in Norwegian Archipelago between north pole and Norway. He said, "These fossil forests show us what the vegetation and landscape were like on the equator 380 million years ago, as the first trees were beginning to appear on the Earth," Berry explained in a press release, reported in Cardiff University News.

This forest was originally tropical in nature and grew near the equator. However, with the continental drift, the trees moved to the north. After observing the tree stumps, Dr. Berry says that these trees belonged to the Devonian period that existed around 400 million years ago. The Devonian Period is anticipated to overlap with the 15-times decline in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere that occurred around that time. According to the theories, it was in this period that the trees evolved due to fall in the carbon dioxide levels and the vegetation changed into trees. As the trees evolved, it led to a significant decline in the atmospheric CO2, explains Berry. "The evolution of tree-sized vegetation is the most likely cause of this dramatic drop in carbon dioxide because the plants were absorbing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to build their tissues, and also through the process of forming soils," says Berry in a press release, as reported by The Christian Monitor.

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