1000-year-Old Forest Found Under Melting Alaska Glacier

1,000 year old trees from a long ago forest when it was warmer than now

Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest outside of Juneau, Alaska, 2011. / (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication


Forests from a warmer time a thousand years ago are being found all over the world, including Alaska.

A protective tomb of gravel preserved the trees more than 1,000 years ago, when the glacier was advancing. Now that this glacier has receded, we can see these well preserved trees and forest from a warmer time. As you can see below this tree was growing for decades and quite well. Which points to it being warm enough with plenty of water.

A cross cut from one of the trees from this 1,000 years ago forest. The glacier was much smaller back then.