or so goes the current theory. theories are only metaphors at their very best, so don’t get lost in it.
it started out as a tropical paradise, when it was part of theoretical gondwanaland. back when i was in college, the head of the school of environmental sciences was dead set against this theory, and for our final exam he had us ‘prove’ that the new theory was wrong. this was the university of virginia, and even in 1977 some people were still resistant to what seems obvious to every second grader – the earth’s landmasses fit together in one big splotch of an island.
there is coal in the transantarctic mountains. they’ve found oil and gas as well, and it’s only a matter of time before someone strikes gold.
from polar discovery. click to see it animated.
so, what does this mean for my pirate novel? well, if it happened once, it could happen again. in fact, there’s a theory that says the continents break up and form repeatedly over time. long time. let’s see if i can find it in the research i read the other day and then failed to note…
yeah, and the sea levels fluctuate, being lower when the continents are all together, and higher when they’re apart. here’s a quote:
There are two types of global earth climates: Icehouse and Greenhouse. Icehouse is characterized by frequent continental glaciations and severe desert environments. We are now in the icehouse phase, moving towards Greenhouse. Greenhouse is characterized by warm climates. Both reflect the supercontinent cycle.
- Icehouse Climate
- Greenhouse Climate
and here’s a lovely picture of what antarctica would look like without ice, showing all the lakes and rivers, and the parts of the continent that are currently below sea level.