Advertisement
ProteinSimple
ProteinSimple

A Greener Arctic

Algal blooms are appearing under the ice in the Arctic Ocean in areas thought to receive too little light to support photosynthetic life.

By | June 11, 2012

image: A Greener Arctic Ice ponds in the Artic OceanNASA, Kathryn Hansen

Ice ponds in the Arctic OceanNASA, KATHRYN HANSEN

Phytoplankton blooms are expected in the summer after the ice melts in the Artic, in open waters that are free of ice. But in a paper published in Science last week (June 7), scientists observed that these blooms are occurring much earlier, in areas where the ice has thinned over the years, allowing light to penetrate.

The researchers noticed accumulated pools of water that had melted on the surface of the frozen Chukchi Sea, located between Alaska and Siberia. The researchers sampled the waters beneath the meter-thick ice and found a bloom that extended over 100 kilometers.

Because the blooms are occurring earlier in the season than expected, migratory birds and whales that come to the nutrient-rich waters to feed could be affected, though it's unclear yet whether that effect will be positive or negative. The finding also suggests that the uptake of carbon dioxide may have been underestimated for the region.

"The blooms are happening possibly weeks before the ice begins to retreat," first author Kevin Arrigo from Stanford University told ScienceNOW. "We have no idea how this might be changing those [migratory] patterns."

 

Advertisement
ASM
ASM

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. The Mycobiome
    Features The Mycobiome

    The largely overlooked resident fungal community plays a critical role in human health and disease.

  2. Antibody Alternatives
    Features Antibody Alternatives

    Nucleic acid aptamers and protein scaffolds could change the way researchers study biological processes and treat disease.

  3. Holding Their Ground
    Features Holding Their Ground

    To protect the global food supply, scientists want to understand—and enhance—plants’ natural resistance to pathogens.

  4. Circadian Clock and Aging
    Daily News Circadian Clock and Aging

    Whether a critical circadian clock gene is deleted before or after birth impacts the observed aging-related effects in mice.

Advertisement
INTEGRA
INTEGRA
Advertisement
Life Technologies