Tropical Paradise at the Cretaceous Poles?

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Science  18 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5397, pp. 2199-2200
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5397.2199


A growing body of evidence indicates that the polar regions were at one time much warmer than they are now. In his Perspective, Huber discusses a report in the same issue by Tarduno et al. that describes the fossil remains of a crocodile-like creature discovered in the high Canadian Arctic zone at Axel Heiberg Island. This, together with other elements of the paleobiological record, provides further evidence of polar warmth during the Cretaceous. The source of the warming appears to be high concentrations of carbon dioxide during this period, although further modeling and physical evidence will be needed to conclusively sort out the causes.