Astonishing Algal Bloom Found in Arctic
NASA scientists say they’ve made a discovery in the Arctic Ocean ‘as dramatic and unexpected as finding a rainforest in the middle of a desert’. When its Icescape expedition punched through three-foot thick sea ice, the team found waters richer in the microscopic marine plants known as phytoplankton than any other ocean region on Earth.
Phytoplankton, are the base of the marine food chain, but were thought to grow in the Arctic Ocean only after sea ice had retreated for the summer. Scientists now think that the thinning Arctic ice is allowing sunlight to reach the waters under the sea ice, allowing the plants to bloom, a discovery that could be good news for the planet, as fast-growing phytoplankton consume large amounts of carbon dioxide.