Early Middle Eocene Polar Warmth

Evidence from fossil plants, sediments and isotopes indicates that the Late Palaeocene and Early Eocene experienced warm climates at high latitudes, at least on the margins of Antarctica where strata of this age crop out. Climates appear to have been warm and wet, seas were warm and plants flourished in a frost-free environment. The oldest record of glacial activity (if the dating is correct in this problematic region) is of valley-type tillites of Middle Eocene age on King George Island, indicating the presence of alpine glaciers. However, floras of Middle Eocene age from King George and Seymour islands suggest warm to cool temperate climates, generally moist and probably frost-free. The ocean isotope record also suggests that climates were generally warm until the Middle Eocene, although the climate trend was towards cooling.

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