HomeScience & InnovationAntarctic sea ice may hide rich ecology in the deep dark

Antarctic sea ice may hide rich ecology in the deep dark

Antarctica is a world of ice and snow, not the place we expected to be full of life. But a new study has found evidence of abundant phytoplankton blooms beneath the Southern Ocean sea ice, which seem to thrive in the cold waters regardless of light conditions.

The sea ice in the Southern Ocean is dense, and sunlight cannot penetrate the ice layer, but underwater phytoplankton need light for photosynthesis.

Therefore, scientists originally thought that there would be no thriving plant ecology under the Antarctic ice sheet in winter.

Only when the sea ice recedes in spring can we start to see phytoplankton appear in the upper ocean.

However, the team of Brown University in the United States and the University of Auckland in New Zealand used buoys to sample the water column and floating objects under the sea ice in Antarctica from 2014 to 2021.

The number of chlorophyll molecules is detected and compared with the sea ice coverage measured by NASA satellites.

They found that phytoplankton increased in 88% of floaters before sea ice receded, and subglacial algal blooms in 26%.

The team say, this could indicate an unaccounted-for hidden ecosystem lurking beneath the ice.

And if the phytoplankton that form the basis of the food web hide under the ice, then we may underestimate the amount of life hidden under the ice.

The study was limited, though, because the buoys the team used couldn’t precisely track where the samples were taken under the ice (but the researchers felt the evidence was strong enough).

It’s also too early to draw conclusions, as some early Arctic research is beginning to suggest that human-driven warming may be affecting algal blooms under Arctic sea ice.

The new paper was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Steven L. Werner
Steven L. Werner
Steven has been writing about technology and science since he graduated from University. He is mostly focused on finding and researching for cutting-edge tech and most interesting innovations.

Follow us on Social Media!


Related Articles

The real size of the innermost part of the Earth has been found

The results of seismic wave analysis are allowing us to understand more and more about the interior of the earth. For example, there is...

Global Warming accelerates fungal mutations and infections

Scientists are usually not too concerned about fungi because after years of evolution, humans have advanced immune systems and high body temperature, which makes...

New Record: The neck of Mamenchisaurus in China is 15 meters long

We all know that dinosaurs such as Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus had very long necks, but now paleontologists have discovered the longest "neck" in...

What are the Differences between quail eggs and chicken eggs?

Quail eggs and chicken eggs have several differences in terms of size, nutritional content, taste, and culinary uses. Here are some of the key...

Explore More Articles

4 Best Truck mods in Euro Truck Simulator 2

5 Best Truck mods in Euro Truck Simulator 2

ETS 2 is a game all about driving a truck in a massive world of roads. In this case, we have listed the best...
Domain Name Definition, Uses and Importance-min

Domain Name: Definition, Uses and Importance

A domain name consists of a name (brand, company, family name, etc.) and an extension. The latter can be a geographical suffix of two...
Best Trailer mods in Euro Truck Simulator 2 - ETS 2-min

4 Best Trailer mods in Euro Truck Simulator 2

Truck trailers, also known as semi-trailers or simply trailers, are unpowered vehicles designed to be towed by trucks or other large vehicles. They are...
Best Artificial Intelligence Altcoin Projects-min

4 Best Artificial Intelligence Altcoin Projects

Artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrencies are two booming technologies that could revolutionize the way we think about finance. In this article, we explore the...