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In Photos: The Vanishing Ice of Baffin Island

Arctic escarpment

An ice field on Baffin Island. Vegetation on the edge of the retreating ice here dated back more than 40,000 years.

(Image credit: Gifford Miller/University of Colorado Boulder/INSTAAR)

An ice field on Baffin Island. Vegetation on the edge of the retreating ice here dated back more than 40,000 years, at the limit of age that radiocarbon dating can determine. Researchers sampled 124 plants at 30 locations, finding newly uncovered landscapes at least 40,000 years (and likely up to 120,000 years) old at all of them.

"We found these locations everywhere," Pendleton said. "It's not just one particular elevation or one particular type of ice cap."

Stephanie Pappas
Stephanie Pappas

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.