Researchers have discovered fossils of a tropical forest in the Arctic, specifically in Svalbard, Norway. It was determined that the same kind of trees existed 380 million years ago.
In addition to dating the forest as one of Earth's oldest, the research team also suggests that it may have had a hand in a dramatic drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels traced to that time in Earth's past, Live Science reported.
John Marshall from Southampton University joined Chris Berry of Cardiff University in studying the tropical Arctic forest. They used the spores from the rocks to determine the age of the fossils and found out that it was actually 20 million years older than previously declared.
It was then concluded that the fossils were from the Devonian period, or the era that was said to be the beginning of forest ecosystems, Inquisitr reported.
Svalbard's temperatures really have the potential to preserve organic samples, the very reason why biologists have chosen the place as the location for the Doomsday Seed Vault, a repository of seed samples from around the world.
"It's amazing that we've uncovered one of the very first forests in the very place that is now being used to preserve the Earth's plant diversity," Berry said, according to Popular Science.
The study was published in the journal Geology.