90,000,000 years ago, the world was considerably warmer than it is today. It was a time between ice ages where there was no ice at even the coldest places on earth. It was the time of dinosaurs that walked every continent, including Antarctica, the coldest place on the planet.
It was midway through the Cretaceous Period. Without the ice that exists today, the water level was considerably higher. Much of the land recognizable today would have been shallow seas.
“Sea level was higher during most of the Cretaceous than at any other time in Earth history, and it was a major factor influencing the paleogeography of the period. In general, world oceans were about 100 to 200 metres (330 to 660 feet) higher in the Early Cretaceous and roughly 200 to 250 metres (660 to 820 feet) higher in the Late Cretaceous than at present.”
The warming that happened during the time of the dinosaurs was a natural event, which is the reason for the numerous times of a planet free of ice. The sun does not burn at a constant temperature. Extended periods of burning hotter are the reasons for past warming cycles.
On April 1, 2020, Carolyn Gramling published an article for ScienceNews regarding the tropical rainforest that existed in Antarctica.
“Buried sediment extracted from the seafloor off West Antarctica contains ancient pollen, fossilized roots and other chemical evidence of a diverse forest that flourished millions of years ago, less than a thousand kilometers from the South Pole.”
This was one of several articles published regarding the rainforest that covered Antarctica during that time. Technological breakthroughs are giving us a glimpse of the past like never before.
On October 26, 2021, Laura Geggel published an article for LiveScience about the evidence of wildfires that used to occur on Antarctica:
“During the late Cretaceous period (100 million to 66 million years ago), one of the warmest periods on Earth, Antarctica’s James Ross Island was home to a temperate forest of conifers, ferns and flowering plants known as angiosperms, as well as to a slew of dinosaurs. But it wasn’t a total paradise; ancient paleo-fires burned parts of those forests to a crisp, leaving behind charcoal remnants that scientists have now scooped up and studied.”
The dinosaur fossils that have been found were not unique to the region making them heartier when it came to dealing with the cold. They were typical of any other remains discovered. Had it not been for the considerably greater heat, there would have been nothing to discover in a place too cold for reptiles to survive.
On February 6, 1998, the National Science Foundation reported:
“A team of Argentinean and U.S. scientists has found fossils of a duck-billed dinosaur, along with remains of Antarctica’s most ancient bird and an array of giant marine reptiles, on Vega Island off the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.”
It was the first discovery of a duck-billed dinosaur’s remains outside the Americas. A truly incredible find.
On November 4, 2011, Stephanie Pappas published an article for LiveScience:
“The discovery of a single sauropod vertebra on James Ross Island in Antarctica reveals that these behemoths, which included Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus, lived on the continent in the upper Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago.”
There are no shortage of people claiming the world is the hottest it has ever been or the hottest on record. One would have to ignore the fossil records from Antarctica, and everything known about the age of the dinosaurs to prove assumption over fact. We are not the hottest on record. The Cretaceous Period was considerably hotter.
If the conditions during the Cretaceous were similar to today, there would be no dinosaurs ruling much of anything. They would have never survived the winters in much of the world where they roamed. The fact that there were dinosaurs in tropical rainforests on Antarctica proves just how different the global temperature was compared to now.
The Cretaceous was not some unique event in an otherwise cool planet suddenly caught up in warming.
From NASAs, Climate Science Investigations:
“Throughout much of Earth’s geologic history, the global mean temperature was between 8°C and 15°C warmer than it is today with polar areas free of ice. These relatively warm periods were interrupted by cooler periods, referred to as ice ages.”
Climate.gov released a map of what the temperatures were like going back 500,000,000 years. What it shows is the temperature today is we are nowhere near the warmest the planet has been. Being ice free is far more common throughout history than what we experience today.
We are at the tail end of the last great ice age and the world is naturally returning to its warming as it always has. At some point in the distant future, the ice will melt and Antarctica’s forest will return.