A Truly Green Greenland in Human Time Arrests Mind

Perhaps nothing beats the Sahara for feelings of timelessness and unboundedness, but surely the world's icy deserts take second place in the metaphysical imagination. It's more than a little disconcerting to learn then, in the June 20 issue of Science magazine, that just 400,000 years ago--well into the era in which modern humans were evolving--the southern reaches of Greenland were not just green but covered with vast spruce forests. A second article in the same issue discusses two very sudden warmings Greenland experienced 15 thousand and 11 thousand years ago, while a perspective piece addresses the implications of Greenland's climate changes for tomorrow's world.

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