Mosses Survive Centuries Under Arctic Glaciers
Tough plants regrew after glacier retreated
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2013 2:56 AM CDT
Scientists have made some amazing finds as ice retreats on Ellesmere Island.   (AP Photo/Ohio State University, Joel Barker)

(Newser) – The Arctic mosses that thrive in some of the world's most inhospitable locations are even tougher than scientists thought. Researchers found that the hardy mosses on Canada's Ellesmere Island managed to survive being crushed under a glacier for centuries, NPR reports. They were amazed to find green sprigs of new growth amid a tangle of moss that had been covered by ice since around 1500 and only exposed recently when the glacier retreated.

"The material actually looked quite green when we examined it underneath the microscope. And in examining it in more detail, there was actually growth coming from the material," says the lead researcher, whose study hails the "unrecognized resilience" of the mosses. The study suggests that the hardy plants may play a key role in regenerating ecosystems after glaciers have retreated, Science News notes.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Murahu
May 29, 2013 6:06 PM CDT
It all goes to prove that the earth was warmer before the glacier crushed the moss. Global warming is a hoax. There are natural ups and downs of the earth's temperature, and the Left is misusing and distorting figures to promote its political agenda.
Rob
May 28, 2013 9:15 AM CDT
But the glaciers are not retreating, right? RIGHT?!?
cornelison
May 28, 2013 6:26 AM CDT
Over 10 yrs. ago the Mojave Desert had the most rainfall ever recorded. The desert was in bloom with flowers everywhere! It was amazing. Seeds can last a long time all over the world.