UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Professor Dame Jane Francis - "Forests and frost? Antarctica in a 400ppm CO2 world: evidence from the rock record"

15 March 2017, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Event Information


Anatomy G29, JZ Young Lecture Theatre, followed by drinks in the South Cloisters

Professor Dame Jane Francis
Director, British Antarctic Survey

Register via Eventbrite here.

The Antarctica continent has been located in its present position over the South Pole for the last 100 million years. 
The recent glacial landscape developed in a low C02 world (<300ppm) but through most of this geological time Antarctica was covered
with forest vegetation that survived in warm climates under high C02 (>1000ppm?) despite its polar position. 
Fossil plants indicate that much of the Antarctic landscape was covered with forest vegetation of monkey puzzle trees, tree ferns,
southern beech and other plants that are ancestors of the modern forests we see today in Patagonia and New Zealand.

Even within this interval of polar warmth, at times CO2 levels may have dropped to about 400ppm, similar to today, with geological evidence for ice amongst the forests.
Can reconstruction of Antarctic environments from the rock record help us understand the rapid changes that the current
Antarctic landscape might soon see as it aligns with a 400ppm C02 world?