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When Antarctica was green: fossil plants reveal Antarctica's climate history

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Although the polar regions are now covered in ice and snow, life was very different in Antarctica millions of years ago – Antarctica was green. Fossil plants preserved in rocks from Antarctica show that the continent was once covered in lush green forests that flourished in warm humid climates, even though the continent was situated over the South Pole. Director of the Briitish Antracic Survey, Professor Jane Francis, will discuss how Antarctic plant fossils contain a rich store of palaeoclimate information about past polar environments and how they can provide us with a window into life at high latitudes in our future warm world.

The Speaker: Jane Francis is Director of the British Antarctic Survey, based in Cambridge. A geologist by training, her research interests include ancient climates and fossil plants from the Arctic and Antarctica, used to decipher ancient polar climates of the past. She was awarded the Polar Medal for her contribution to British polar research.

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This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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