‘Mega-bloom’ of tiny plants under Arctic sea ice tied to climate change- largest ever seen on the planet

June 8, 2012 ARCTIC Experts were shocked to find a thick, 60-mile-long “phytoplankton mega-bloom” under Arctic sea ice, announcing in a study Thursday that ice made thinner by warming temperatures has, for now at least, created ideal conditions for the microscopic, single-cell plants to flourish. More blooms are likely hidden under the ice, making for “ecological shifts” in Arctic waters that favor some species over others since phytoplankton are the base of the marine food chain, Stanford professor and lead researcher Kevin Arrigo told msnbc.com. Scientists had thought Arctic phytoplankton blooms only happened after sea ice melted in summer, so the discovery is “like finding the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert,” added Paula Bontempi, who manages the ocean biology program at NASA, which funded the research. The waters literally looked like pea soup,” Arrigo said at a press conference announcing the study in the journal Science. “It was as thick as a 5-year-old child is tall.” The team discovered the bloom in July 2011 in thin sea ice pocketed with ponds of melted ice on the Chukchi Sea off northern Alaska. Arctic sea ice has been shrinking and thinning in summer since 1979, the result of warming temperatures over the region. Those melt ponds proved crucial, allowing just enough light to get the growth process started while also protecting the algae from ultraviolet radiation. Arrigo said in his 25 years of studying phytoplankton blooms he had never seen one this large. Blooms in open water are much smaller, he noted, while very thick ice won’t allow any light in to start photosynthesis. “It’s going to be a more productive system,” Arrigo said, noting that plankton bottom feeders will benefit as the plankton sinks to the bottom of the Chukchi, much of which is around 160 feet deep. –MSNBC
contribution by Ronni
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14 Responses to ‘Mega-bloom’ of tiny plants under Arctic sea ice tied to climate change- largest ever seen on the planet

  1. Margaret says:

    How do they know that this is the largest EVER SEEN on the planet? How long have we actually been looking? It really is arrogant to make such sweeping statements when we have a nail-paring size of agenda-driven information to choose from.

    Like

  2. James H says:

    I am just waiting for some of this ice to melt and show land mass under the ice.. There has to be land mass under all that ice somewhere.. Its kind of bothersome to see all the ice at the poles melting so fast…

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  3. John David says:

    Seems like the only constant is change!!!

    Like

  4. elijahsmom3 says:

    Alvin,
    Very curious as to what was going through your mind as you read this.

    Like

  5. suz says:

    It’s important to note that the warming that has already happened has severely damaged the Arctic ice cap and the Antarctic Peninsula. They have always melted a bit during summer and then freeze in winter. They now melt more and freeze less. It adds up. The Arctic could see it’s first ice free summer in many thousands of years, in 20 years or so.

    If it rises 2-3 degrees more, man is in big trouble. The earth will be okay, but man and many other species that are equally sensitive to climate will not.

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  6. wibbys1 says:

    Very interesting! So what will be the outcome ultimately? More life that feeds on the Phytoplankton? Just one more event in the major shift taking place rushing us toward the “Event Horizon?”

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  7. Deb says:

    Wish I could visit before its all melted.

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  8. Isnt that great!! In spite of all our doom and gloom prophecys, interfering with our environment,the universe still conspires to create its own domain..Yeeha..!!

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  9. Dan Sherwood says:

    Ever notice how if you where to squeeze the the puzzle pieces of the earth’s land masses back together the piece that would go where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers would have originally met is missing. But if you take the Antarctic puzzle piece and slide it up in there, it kinda fits. Just saying, what better way for God to hide the garden of Eden then to bury it under a mile of ice.

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    • IM
      The Gardens of Versailles – France

      If the Tree of Life is in the City of New Jerusalem which descends down from heaven, (Revelation 21:1, 22:2), that’s a good indication Eden has taken up residence there too. Atlantis had the groves of the god Neptune, Babylon had the famed Hanging Gardens, Versailles has the grounds, New York has Central Park, so the idea of lush garden in the midst of a city is not all that revolutionary.

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  10. Johnny says:

    There will be upheavals in the Arctic and Antarctic that will cause the eruption of volcanoes in the torrid areas, and pole shift. There will be the shifting then of the poles, so that where there has been those of a frigid or the semi-tropical will become the more tropical, and moss and fern will grow. (Edgar Cayce)

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  11. ONTHEMARK55 says:

    It’s all lies, the ice caps are fine, industry and automobiles don’t cause polution, smoking cigarettes dosen’t cause cancer, more nuclear weapons will ensure peace, oil spills are no big deal, oceans have alot of water, corporations would create more jobs,pay higher wages if they didn’t pay taxes, children around the world aren’t really starving, their naturally thin, and Jesus was just a good guy! Oh. i almost forgot, if anyone needs one, i got a BRIDGE FOR SALE! The fact the Lord will forgive any of us is truly a MIRACLE.

    Like

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