NASA Scientists have made a stunning new biological discovery in Arctic Ocean waters as dramatic and unexpected as finding a “rainforest in the middle of a desert.”
A NASA-sponsored expedition penetrated three-foot thick sea ice to find waters richer in microscopic marine plants, essential to all sea life, than any other oceanic region on the planet Earth.
The discovery is the result of an oceanographic expedition called ICESCAPE, or Impacts of Climate on EcoSystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment.
“Part of NASA’s mission is pioneering scientific discovery, and this is like finding the Amazon Rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert,” said Paula Bontempi, NASA’s ocean biology and biogeochemistry program manager in Washington. “We embarked on ICESCAPE to validate our satellite ocean-observing data in an area of the Earth that is very difficult to get to…We wound up making a discovery that hopefully will help researchers and resource managers better understand the Arctic.”
The NASA-sponsored mission explored the seas along Alaska’s western and northern coasts onboard a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker during the summers of 2010 and 2011.
The new discovery reveals a new consequence of the Arctic’s warming climate and provides an important clue to understanding the impacts of a changing climate and environment on the Arctic Ocean and its ecology.
More in the video below.
- Twelve Weeks Left Until The NASA Ice-Free Arctic (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
- NASA Discovers Yet Another Terrifying Global Warming Feedback Loop (treehugger.com)