Tree Remnants Show Greta’s Thunberg’s Northern Sweden Was 3°C Warmer 9300 Years Ago…Trees There’s Tundra

9300-year old vegetation remnants found under receding glaciers in Northern Sweden show that the trees once grew where tundra exists today, meaning it was warmer.

Hat-tip: Kenneth Richard

A new Swedish publication titled New Presence Of Beaver (Castor fiber L) in the Scandes sustains warmer-than-present conditions and a patchily treed and rich mountainscape finds that trees once grew up to 700 meters above today’s current treeline in Northern Sweden (Lapland, locations 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Location of study areas in northern Sweden (Lapland). 1. Kårsaglaciären. 2. Tärna. Megafossils show much warmer climates 9000 years ago. 

Over the past 120 years the climate has warmed, and so there’s been glacier and ice patch shrinkage. This has unveiled earlier vegetation and life.

The concerned vegetational remnants that were found represent tree exclaves in ice-empty glacier cirques, the study says.

Found were megafossils of pinus sylvestris with signs of being gnawed by beaver (Castor fiber L.) from different sites in northern Sweden which today are tundra.

They age 9500-9300 cal. yr BP and are located 400-700 m above present-day tree lines.

There are many earlier studies showing the existence of megafossils from earlier forests once covered by glaciers:  (Schlüchter & Jörin 2004; Benedict et al. 2008; Nesje et al. 2011; Reckin 2013; Koch et al. 2014; Kullman & Öberg, 2020a, (Lundqvist 1969; Holmlund et al.1996; Lindgren & Strömgren 2001,

These exposed megafossil remnants represent former tree stands that were later on extirpated and entombed by snow and ice for many millennia. At -0.6°C/100 m lapse rate, it means it was then over 3°C warmer than now in this region at a time when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were well below 300 ppm.

Overviews of the studied glacier habitats, including adjacent meltwater ponds. Megafossil tree remains are found at these levels and even higher upslope. A. Kårsaglaciären. Photo: 2013-09-12. B. Tärnaglaciären. Photo: 2012-08-28. C. Murtserglaciären Photo: 2012-08-28. All sites display meltwater ponds in close association with the lower forefields, recently released from the ice. Images from here


11 responses to “Tree Remnants Show Greta’s Thunberg’s Northern Sweden Was 3°C Warmer 9300 Years Ago…Trees There’s Tundra”

  1. John F Hultquist

    Tell what other sites you regularly go to and someone will, perhaps, offer other ideas.
    The three main posters on this site have rather different sorts of things they work on. You can read the last 10 or so to see this.

  2. tom0mason

    Maybe Greta should get back to school and study some of the many Cycles Affecting Earth’s climate —
    Approximate period(years)____Name______

    Now Greta show how the current warm(ish) period we’ve recently been in has nothing to do with any of these cycles.

  3. Phil Salmon

    Thanks – important article. Polar tree-lines are perhaps one of the best and most reliable indicators of past climate temperatures. So this northward advance of the Sweden treeline 9kya is very significant.

    Only when the treeline returns to the same latitude again – and goes further – can present warming be truthfully called “unprecedented”. So far it’s not even close; and it never will be.

    In other research, study of both current and ancient tree lines in Siberia show that the current northward extent of the treeeline, that has advanced due to warming, has only returned to the level where it was 1000 years ago during the medieval warm period (MWP). Very strong evidence for a global MWP, and again showing current warming not to be unprecedented and unusual but just cyclical and unexceptional.

  4. oebele bruinsma

    A suggestion: We may call these fossil trees: Betula thunbergia

    1. Yonason

      How about Urtica thunbergiana (Stinging Nettle) 🙂

      1. Yonason

        I meant as a nickname for Gretta. But as to the trees that were found. Were they Birches? I would have thought some sort of very hardy pine, or fir, or similar.

  5. Ben Vorlich

    Metonic cycle, in chronology, a period of 19 years in which there are 235 lunations, or synodic months, after which the Moon’s phases recur on the same days of the solar year, or year of the seasons. The cycle was discovered by Meton (fl. 432 bc), an Athenian astronomer.

    Whether that predates this from Wiki I don’t know
    The Coligny Calendar is an attempt to reconcile the cycles of the moon and sun, as is the modern Gregorian calendar. However, the Coligny calendar considers the phases of the moon to be important, and each month always begins with the same moon phase. The calendar uses a mathematical arrangement to keep a normal 12 month calendar in sync with the moon and keeps the whole system in sync by adding an intercalary month every ​2 1⁄2 years. The Coligny calendar registers a five-year cycle of 62 lunar months, divided into a “bright” and a “dark” fortnight (or half a moon cycle) each. The months were possibly taken to begin on the new moon, and a 13th intercalary month was added every two and a half years to align the lunations with the solar year.

    1. tom0mason

      Thanks Ben Vorlich,
      Another to add to the list? As the moon has an effect on the weather maybe so 🙂

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