The penguin and the palm tree

London - Have you heard the one about the penguin perched in the palm tree?

Well, it turns out the idea is not so far-fetched. Scientists drilling into Antarctica have found proof the trees once grew there, when winter temperatures were a balmy 10c.

Antarctica's overall ice loss amounted to 6 billion tons each year during the 11-year study period. But in the western part, the ice loss grew by 18 billion tons a year, every year. Credit: AP

An international marine group dropped a drill off the continent’s eastern coast which revealed unusual types of sediment - including pollen from palm trees. Dr James Bendle, of the University of Glasgow, and his team used the evidence to create a climatic picture of the early Eocene period - about 53 million years ago.

The results will be used to estimate future climate changes. But it’s best not to pack your case yet - it will be millions of years, if ever, before Antarctica becomes a summer holiday hotspot again. - Daily Mail