RELEVANT NEWS

Methane - eating bacteria in lake beneath Arctic
ice sheet may reduce greenhouse gas emissions

An interdisciplinary team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has concluded that bacteria in a lake 800 meters (2,600 feet) beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may digest methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, preventing its release into the atmosphere. The prevalence of methane-consuming bacteria in the upper lake sediment suggests a "methane biofilter" prevents the gas from entering the subglacial water, where it can eventually drain into the ocean and be released into the atmosphere. The bacteria obtain energy from digesting the methane.read more

Study finds toxic mercury is acumulating
in Arctic tundra

Vast amounts of toxic mercury are accumulating in the Arctic tundra, threatening the health and well-being of people, wildlife and waterways, according to a UMass Lowell scientist investigating the source of the pollution. A research team led by Prof. Daniel Obrist, chairman of UMass Lowell’s Department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, found that airborne mercury is gathering in the Arctic tundra, where it gets deposited in the soil and ultimately runs off into waters. Scientists have long reported high levels of mercury pollution in the Arctic.

Krill hotspot fuels incredible
biodiversity in Antarctic region

There are so many Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean that the combined mass of these tiny aquatic organisms is more than that of the world’s 7.5 billion human inhabitants.Scientists have long known about this important zooplankton species, but they haven’t been certain why particular regions or “hotspots” in the Southern Ocean are so productive. One such hotspot exists off Anvers Island – along the western Antarctic Peninsula – where high densities of Antarctic krill episodically concentrate near the shore close to a number of Adélie penguin breeding colonies. ..read more

Massive iceberg nearly 10 times the size of
Manhattan finally breaks off Antarctica

An iceberg about the size of the state of Delaware, USA split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf sometime between July 10 and July 12. The calving of the massive new iceberg was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite, and confirmed by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument on the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite. The final breakage was first reported by Project Midas, an Antarctic research project based in the United Kingdom. read more