Evidence for Extreme Climatic Warmth from Late Cretaceous Arctic Vertebrates

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Science  18 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5397, pp. 2241-2243
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5397.2241

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A Late Cretaceous (92 to 86 million years ago) vertebrate assemblage from the high Canadian Arctic (Axel Heiberg Island) implies that polar climates were warm (mean annual temperature exceeding 14°C) rather than near freezing. The assemblage includes large (2.4 meters long) champsosaurs, which are extinct crocodilelike reptiles. Magmatism at six large igneous provinces at this time suggests that volcanic carbon dioxide emissions helped cause the global warmth.

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