Paleo Carbon Sequestration | Science | Smithsonian
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Paleo Carbon Sequestration

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Scientists have found the first full fossil of the world's earliest tree, thought to be up to 390 million years old. The tree is called eospermatopteris--a name I will not touch, especially after seeing a picture. The trunk extends up without branches to a bulbous head of fronds, like a palm. Previously, the stump was always found separately from the top. The new discovery is celebrated because it connects the palms to the trunk.  The funny thing is, the tree probably played its largest role while alive when the palms fell off the trunk. The fronds on the ground were too tough for bacteria to break up, so the carbon they sucked out of the air stayed in the leaves and built up on the forest floor--a carbon sink to cool the prehistoric climate. Such a tree would be welcomed today.
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