Apr 03, 2017 10:58 AM EDT
University of Southern Denmark Claims That The Melting Sea Ice Is Actually Good For Animals
Experts at the University of Southern Denmark acknowledge the fact that rising temperatures have placed a notable stress on species thriving in cold environment. However, melting sea ice may have good points too.
According to The Blaze, the new findings prove that hotter conditions paved the way for the formation of "life-sustaining" melt ponds in the Northern Hemisphere. To better illustrate, a melt pond is like an oasis in the middle of a hot dessert. If an oasis serves as life support for animals like camels, a melt pond functions the same way for polar bears.
In the press release, the proponents of the study said that melt ponds initially provided more light for both the ice and the underlying water. Now, though, it looks like these water holes have bigger roles in the ecosystem. For one thing, "mats of algae and bacteria" can evolve in them, which translate to more food for arctic creatures.
Per Yahoo News, the researchers from the University of Southern Denmark picked six melt ponds in Young Sound, North-Eastern Greenland. Out of the total samples, two were natural and four were artificial. Phosphorous and nitrogen were added in varying combinations to the four ponds. The remaining two natural basins served as the control ponds.
Meanwhile, phosphorous and nitrogen are commonly known as garden fertilizers. Within 13 days of intensive testing, the experts measured a lot of parameters in the water holes, including the growth of chlorophyll. The latter is a pigment that enables algae to absorb energy from light.
Interestingly, the chlorophyll content of the ponds with phosphorous and nitrogen increased. Particularly, it was two to 10 times higher than that in the control ponds. The study was published in the journal "Polar Biology".
Well, the research came in after NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed that sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic are at their lowest points since 1979. Fortunately, scientists now know that the more ice melts, the more food will resurface. Normally, a lot of food sources sink to the bottom and remain exclusive to seabed dwellers.
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