The basic motivation for the project was the curiosity of how the environment looked like near the South Pole during the last time the planet underwent extreme greenhouse climate conditions ~90 million years ago. Can we define extreme potencies of atmospheric carbon dioxide contents but also underline how significant the presence of modern ice sheets is?

Under my leadership, an international research team made an unexpected discovery beneath the Antarctic ice: Traces of rainforests near the South Pole. In a sediment core, our team unearthed pristinely preserved forest soil from the late Cretaceous greenhouse world, including a dense network of fossil roots and a high diversity of Cretaceous pollen and spores. Our study uniquely illustrates yet unexpected potencies of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and also quite clearly reveals the significance of ice sheet presence for global climate stability. Our study therefore made it to the climate papers of highest impact published in 2020.

Tags: Antarctica, Antarctic Ice, Greenhouse Climate, Climate Chang, Ice Sheets, Carbon Dioxide, Expedition tomorrow, Antarktis