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3000-Year-Old Trees Excavated Under Icelandic Glacier

December 12, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Ancient tree stumps found under Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in Southeast Iceland are confirmed to be roughly 3,000 years old. RÚV reports.

A specialist believes the remarkably well-preserved stumps were part of a massive forest that disappeared after a long period of a warm climate.

One of the tree stumps was found in Breiðamerkursandur a couple of months ago, and once it was being salvaged a second, larger one was found. The smaller one was sent for examination while the larger will be examined at a later time.

Examinations revealed that the tree stump died very quickly at 89-years-old in the month of June. Nearby sediments and data suggest that the glacier itself was the culprit.

The tree stumps are from a period when Iceland was covered in forests. Even though 9th century Norse settlers reported vast forests across the country, it is believed that 3,000 years ago, the forests were much larger, even reaching the highlands. Approximately 500 BC, the climate became colder and glaciers began to form, destroying parts of the forests.

The 3,000-year-old remains of the forest are very well preserved and will be researched thoroughly. “It is absolutely incredible just how well preserved this tree stump is, having been buried under a glacier and that it still looks so whole, as opposed to being all wrinkled up like many of the specimens we have found.” Once examinations conclude, the water will be extracted from the tree stump and it will be filled with wax instead, allowing it to be exhibited.



The All About Iceland website fills in some of the gaps:




Discovering ancient forests under receding glaciers is not confined to Iceland. Remains of trees dating back to the Middle Ages have been found under the Juneau and Exit Glaciers in Alaska, as well under glaciers in Patagonia.

Tree stumps have also turned up under Swiss glaciers, carbon dated to about 4000 years ago.


The simple reality is that glaciers worldwide expanded enormously during the Little Ice Age, arguably to their greatest extent since the Ice Age. Despite decades of retreat since the 19thC, they are still abnormally large by historical standards.

  1. December 12, 2019 11:37 am

    Has anyone asked Greta for her opinion of this discovery?

    • Ian Magness permalink
      December 12, 2019 11:42 am

      She’s too busy collecting awards to bother with reading science papers.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 12, 2019 11:45 am

      How dare you!

      • December 13, 2019 12:08 pm

        I “dare” very easily. I have two older brothers and come from a science family: father, mother & oldest brother chemists; other brother a physicist; I am the botanist.

  2. john cooknell permalink
    December 12, 2019 11:41 am

    Response from Greta’s scientists will be “But our model shows this was just a local event” so nothing to see here.

    “We have a climate emergency on our hands, the heating climate is unprecedented.”

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 12, 2019 12:43 pm

      Local to Alaska, Iceland, Switzerland and Patagonia at least. Another word redefinition in the climate lexicon. The real emergency is finding more ways to misinterpret the real data.

    • Broadlands permalink
      December 12, 2019 2:45 pm

      John… Good for you. You noticed! Greta has no scientific background. Everything she puts out has been provided to her by unnamed climate scientists. That’s what Al Gore did. Maybe those who have coached them should get the awards? But wait…the UN’s IPCC did get an award. From Scandinavians.

  3. Gamecock permalink
    December 12, 2019 11:57 am

    Great! More tree rings!

  4. Peter Crump permalink
    December 12, 2019 12:08 pm

    Incontrovertible evidence of climate change 🤪

  5. December 12, 2019 12:09 pm

    You couldn’t miss the recent headlines about the 2019 Greenland ice melt but just in case here is a selction.

    The Guardian
    Greenland’s ice sheet melting seven times faster than in 1990s

    Climate change: Greenland’s ice faces melting ‘death

    National Geographic
    Greenland’s melting ice may affect everyone’s future.

    Greenland’s Rapid Melt Will Mean More Flooding

    Greenland’s Massive Ice Melt Wasn’t Supposed To Happen Until 2070

    Washington Post
    Greenland’s glaciers are losing ice faster and faster, according … ›

    Daily Telegraph
    Climate change melts 12.5bn tons of ice in Greenland


    It’s the Sun what dunnit – that is the solar sun, not the popular newspaper.
    The summer months were only moderately warmer than average relative to 1981 to 2010, roughly 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher along the western coast. This confirms that the main driver of surface melt in 2019 was above average cloud-free days, not warm air temperatures as in the 2012 summer melt. This also explains the exceptional dry and sunny conditions at the south.

  6. Athelstan. permalink
    December 12, 2019 12:32 pm

    Again, just a fquite fascinating little glimpse and pointer to, how warm the climate has been in (by Geological standards) the very recent past and not much to do with fossil fuels – dare I hazard it.

    One muses, will it be headline news on the bbc six o’clock bulletin?

    • rah permalink
      December 12, 2019 12:44 pm

      This just can’t be! I was told that it never got that warm and stayed that way for long during the MWP. Michael Mann’s hockey stick and a plethora of other “science” proves it! Leif named Greenland only as a publicity stunt to try and get more of his fellow Norsemen to come to what was actually a frozen wasteland at the time.

      • December 12, 2019 6:12 pm

        Greenland and Iceland should swap names 😉

  7. Chilli permalink
    December 12, 2019 12:50 pm

    Someone tell Theresa May – apparently her decision to force a zero carbon target on the UK was based on her own holiday observations of one shrinking glacier in the Swiss alps.

    • Dave Cowdell permalink
      December 12, 2019 2:54 pm

      Chilli, well since we are responsible for 1% of man made CO2 in the world, and the CO2 will (/sarc) cause 1.5 deg C over the decade then clearly the UK will be responsible for 0.015 deg C rise. ( please tell me that my logic is irrefutable). I don’t know how many billions (trillions) this will cost the UK, but over here in West Wales I would pay anything to have our climate here 5 degrees warmer!

      • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
        December 12, 2019 4:47 pm

        “1.5 deg C over the decade”

        – – winking smiley face – – Poe’s Law

      • James Stone permalink
        December 12, 2019 10:12 pm

        Just wait until we start mining all the lithium and metal for all the solar, batteries and wind energy.

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 12, 2019 12:59 pm

    I remember a few years the BBC trumpeting about how a retreating glacier “proved” global warming -despite the fact the retreat was uncovering Viking settlements and farms.

    For the cultists, all that matters is the last thirty years.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 12, 2019 1:45 pm

      Facts are not important at the BBC. Will Boris follow through on ending the BBC TV tax after his comments about it being outdated if he wins today? If they are reduced to ordinary broadcaster status they are no longer bound to be impartial but how will they pay for their propaganda?

    • chaswarnertoo permalink
      December 12, 2019 2:42 pm

      Al Beeb don’t do logic. They’re leftards.

  9. Emrys Jones permalink
    December 12, 2019 1:57 pm

    A clue is in the name, Greenland. It was when the Vikings showed up in the Medieval warm period and gave it that name. By 1850 no one would have called it ‘green’.

    • Gamecock permalink
      December 12, 2019 4:57 pm

      Might have just been marketing, calling it Greenland. How would they get anyone to migrate there if they told the truth? 😉

    • tonyb permalink
      December 12, 2019 5:00 pm

      Yes, its interesting to think that rather than the Vikings arriving at the start of 400 year long warming period that instead they may have arrived during the last few centuries of a several thousand year long warm era.

  10. Nial permalink
    December 12, 2019 3:16 pm

    Brings Otzi to mind….

    if that doesn’t work…..

  11. December 12, 2019 3:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  12. tom0mason permalink
    December 12, 2019 4:49 pm

    If we are coming out of the LIA then melting of the Poles and glaciers worldwide should be the NATURAL consequence. The rate would be slow at first then accelerate — as seen here

    If the Pole and the glaciers stop melting then we are stalling in the warm-up and if they start expanding we are getting globally colder.

    Life gets more abundant and flourishes when warm, life dies-back when the planet gets cooler.

  13. tonyb permalink
    December 12, 2019 4:56 pm

    Timeline, 2020

    The stump remnants found under a receding Icelandic glacier were unfortunately accidentally used as kindling at the Met office summer bbq on June.

    The chief scientist said “it was a complete accident gov, someone said we needed more wood for the fire and before we knew it the director had hauled it down from the research labs on the third floor, sawed it into little chunks with a chainsaw that happened to be lying close by and whilst all our backs were turned it was all burnt on the fire.”

    • Tom permalink
      December 13, 2019 8:53 am

      Something similar happened to the original Apollo Moon Mission tapes. They were accidentally reused.

    • tom0mason permalink
      December 13, 2019 11:03 am

      Don’t give ’em ideas!

  14. Dr Edmund Fordham permalink
    December 12, 2019 5:18 pm

    I hope someone will compile a full photographic catalogue of these things. Have long felt there is nothing the photo for bringing the credulous to cognitive dissonance …. but but but that means there weren’t glaciers 3000 yrs ago … When I remind them of Otzi the ice man I get the same effect

  15. mothcatcher permalink
    December 12, 2019 5:20 pm

    Thanks, Paul. Nice find.
    Your blog grows in stature all the time. History will mark as a useful resource, methinks

  16. stephensparrownz permalink
    December 12, 2019 7:25 pm

    and plenty of coal deposits in Antarctica – wonder who put them there?

    • M E permalink
      December 13, 2019 9:38 pm

      Continental drift.! Tropical plants formed the coal seams. Plate Tectonics moved the Continent,after all it was inside the continent of Gondwana. q v

  17. December 12, 2019 7:34 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    From 2 years ago but relevant as ever and handy for those with amnesia.

  18. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    December 12, 2019 8:13 pm

    Better preserve tree stumps safely before the Australian team arrives:

  19. The Man at the Back permalink
    December 12, 2019 9:13 pm

    O/T but not O/T – RIP Professor David Bellamy – You will be proved right in the end.

  20. December 13, 2019 1:00 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  21. AndyG55 permalink
    December 13, 2019 5:35 am

    I know its on the wrong thread..

    but a big WELL DONE

    to all rational UK voters 🙂

  22. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 13, 2019 8:51 am

    The pathetic Green vote in the UK election is bizarre given that the Climate Catastrophe is the most immediate issue on the political table with everyone conveniently terrified by BBC Shukman on Greenland melting.

    • dave permalink
      December 13, 2019 11:05 am

      Since all the (main) political parties are fully signed up to the AGW myth, there is no imperative on anybody to vote Green. The only party that took a deliberate stand against all the madness – the UKIP Party – garnered 22,000 votes in total!

      The Trendy Left was badly split THIS time around, and so, although as a whole it won (nobody notices!), no triumph THIS TIME.

      Labour + Liberal Democrats + SNP + Green + Plaid Cymru + Social Democratic & Labour

      = 51.2%

      Of course, if you believe that these are not “birds of a feather,” you may have a different view.

  23. December 13, 2019 10:12 pm

    About 3200 years ago the Minoan Warm Period ended. The subsequent cold brought down more than only the end of the Minoan civilization. There were more than 10 such Warm periods since the end of the last glaciation period about 11000 years ago. And each subsequent one was colder than the preceding one. The following Roman Warm period was colder than the Minoan and so it was for the Medieval Warm Period with the RWP. The current Warm period is the coldest on record which means that we are moving slowly towards a period of glaciation again. Those tree stumps are proof that climate change is real, it has always been and as 3000 years ago humans can’t be blamed for it we can safely lay the CO2 theory to rest.

  24. Philip Mulholland permalink
    December 14, 2019 2:45 am

    What I find quite remarkable is that the tree stump is a larch (Larix sp) according the to Google translate version of the original Icelandic article.This is on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean. How did this species get there? My speculation is that it is a remnant of the pre-ice-age Tertiary flora.

  25. Tom Billesley permalink
    December 15, 2019 12:02 pm

    Iceland will demand backdated carbon credit for its forests.

  26. swan101 permalink
    December 15, 2019 7:19 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE.

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