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Hidden Ecosystems? NASA’s New Evidence of Vast Life Lurking Beneath Antarctic Ice


Grim Reaper 6
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Until now, researchers believed the packed sea ice of the Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean) blocked all light from reaching the sea beneath. This prevented phytoplankton — tiny algae which are the base of aquatic food webs — from growing there. The less light that is available, the less the phytoplankton can photosynthesize and therefore the less phytoplankton there will be. This means that a lack of sunlight heavily restricts life beneath the ice. However, research inspired by increasing under-ice blooms of phytoplankton in the Arctic has shown that Antarctic waters also have unexpected denizens, indicating that there is underestimated ecological variability under the ice. https://scitechdaily.com/hidden-ecosystems-nasas-new-evidence-of-vast-life-lurking-beneath-antarctic-ice/

Evidence of phytoplankton blooms under Antarctic sea ice: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2022.942799/full

 

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This very topic was the basis for a couple of books of fiction/adventure by an Australian author named Greig Beck.  

Beneath the Dark Ice (2009)

I love his books.

 

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23 minutes ago, jethrofloyd said:

I hope the scientists will soon find a similar hidden living ecosystem under the ice on the Jupiter's moon Europa.

They already believed there is one, however what type of life it supports is anyone guess. From what I have read the life on Europa is most likely similar to life found around volcanic vent Black Smokers on Earth. But, anyway I am with you I would like know what type of ecosystem do exist there.

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