Scientists Discover World's Oldest Forest, May Help Understand Link to Climate Change
Those trees could help understand how forests modernized, at a time when carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were getting lower and temperatures were dropping.
Image for representation. Credits: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
Scientists have discovered what could be the world's oldest forest, potentially rich in information on the link between forests and climate change, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.
The title of world's oldest fossil forest had previously been given to a site in Gilboa, in the Catskills region of upstate New York, dating back about 385 million years.
The new site is an old quarry in the same region, just 25 miles (40 kilometers) further east, near the town of Cairo.
After 10 years of samples and studies, an international team of 11 scientists concluded the quarry had once housed a forest two to three million years older and more varied in types of trees.
As at Gilboa, scientists found traces of the primitive tree type "Eospermatopteris". Somewhat similar to a palm tree, it has a thick bottom and crown of branches at the top, though no leaves.
But at the new site, they also found trees from the "Archaeopteris" type.
The "Archaeopteris" has "much more modern" characteristics, with leaves and root systems comparable to a spruce or pine, explained William Stein, one of the study authors and a biology professor at Binghamton University in New York.
Those trees could help understand how forests modernized, at a time when carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were getting lower and temperatures were dropping, Stein told AFP.
By studying the cooling process, it could be possible to better understand the relationship today between climate warming and deforestation, since it may be a similar proces in reverse, he said.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Too Low, Mountain Ahead: Flying Into Fog, Kobe Bryant’s Pilot Had a Decision to Make
- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Title Tune Turns Scary as Dharma Productions Moves Over to the Dark Side
- Shah Rukh Khan's Advice to Raj & DK on Their Upcoming Film Together
- Jadeja Takes a Cheeky Dig at Sanjay Manjrekar After His 'Player of the Match' Tweet
- Watch Out! WhatsApp Will Not Work on These Android Phones And iPhones From February