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Tech & Science Bacteria from the ocean floor could be influencing Arctic weather

06:00  18 november  2019
06:00  18 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Century-old ship logs show how much ice the Arctic has lost

Century-old ship logs show how much ice the Arctic has lost Century-old ship logs show how much ice the Arctic has lost

Scientists have identified a surprising new mechanism that could be impacting cloud formation and weather patterns in the Arctic — bacteria from the ocean floor . When tiny, plantlike ocean microbes known as phytoplankton die, their bodies sink to the bottom of the sea, becoming food for bacteria

Scientists have identified a surprising new mechanism that could be affecting cloud formation and weather patterns in the Arctic : bacteria from the ocean floor . When tiny, plantlike ocean microbes known as phytoplankton die, their bodies sink to the bottom of the sea, becoming food for bacteria

Phytoplankton bloom in the Chukchi Sea in 2018. (Norman Kuring/NASA's Ocean Color Web, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.) Phytoplankton bloom in the Chukchi Sea in 2018. (Norman Kuring/NASA's Ocean Color Web, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.)

Scientists have identified a surprising new mechanism that could be affecting cloud formation and weather patterns in the Arctic: bacteria from the ocean floor. When tiny, plantlike ocean microbes known as phytoplankton die, their bodies sink to the bottom of the sea, becoming food for bacteria residing there. New observations made in the Bering and Chukchi seas off the coast of Alaska suggest that under the right conditions, these algae eaters are sloshed to the surface and from there are wafted into the air.

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New research finds Arctic Ocean currents and storms are moving bacteria from ocean algae blooms into the These particles, which are biological in origin, can affect weather patterns throughout the world Bacteria normally found near the sea floor was present in the air above the ocean surface

Pacific Ocean , Atlantic Ocean , Indian Ocean , Arctic Ocean Pacific Ocean is largest Indian Ocean . How does the topography of the ocean floor compare to Satellites use remote sensing to bounce microwaves off the sea surface to determine differences in height. Submersibles can be manned or

Once airborne, seafloor bacteria may become seeds that promote the growth of ice crystals, an important step in the formation of Arctic clouds.

“Clouds are super important in the Arctic,” said Jessie Creamean, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University and lead author of new research published in mid-July in Geophysical Research Letters.

“They regulate the surface and atmospheric temperatures, affecting sea ice, ecology, shipping, Arctic climate and weather. And we just have a really poor understanding of how they form,” Creamean said.

Prior research from the Southern Ocean as well as laboratory experiments suggest that ocean microbes can enhance cloud formation. To investigate whether that holds true in the Arctic, Creamean and several of her co-authors embarked on a NOAA-funded research cruise through the Bering and southern Chukchi seas from late August to mid-September 2017. Over the course of several weeks, the researchers collected samples of seawater and aerosols suspended about 20 meters (66 feet) above the ship.

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Pollution in the Arctic Ocean is primarily the result of economic activities carried out on land – such as industrial development in the Arctic region, northern rivers, and the effects of military activities, particularly nuclear activity – as well as the influx of pollutants from other regions of the world.

Some hardy bugs can even survive in an upper layer of our atmosphere called the stratosphere—where a recent paper suggests they may have the ability to The idea that microbes can be spread far and wide through the atmosphere isn’t new—research from the 1990s, for instance, shows that bacteria

Small canyon underwater carved by the swell into the fore reef with sunlight through water surface, Huahine island, Pacific ocean, French Polynesia Small canyon underwater carved by the swell into the fore reef with sunlight through water surface, Huahine island, Pacific ocean, French Polynesia

They measured the abundance of what are known as ice-nucleating particles, which seed clouds. They also took stock of seawater chemistry and chlorophyll concentrations, an indicator of phytoplankton abundance.

At first, Creamean said, she simply was hoping to get a baseline sense of the distribution of cloud-seeding particles in the ocean and atmosphere. But on Aug. 29, as their ship passed through the Bering Strait, the researchers measured particularly high levels of them. Through a combination of DNA analysis and microbial culturing, they determined that the airborne particles were mostly bacteria.

The researchers knew there was a big late-summer phytoplankton bloom underway about 150 miles to the south, and that they were in a region where phytoplankton that are transported north via currents tend to die, sink and become food for hungry bacteria.

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The climatic condition of Arctic Ocean is influenced by the solar radiation, and the periodic passage of atmosphere and river flows from the The summer temperature mainly influences the Arctic ocean temperature. It could experience a long period of continuous sunlight or long period of no sunlight.

The Arctic Ocean is Earth's northernmost body of water. It encircles the Arctic , and flows beneath it. Much of the Arctic Ocean 's complex life can only be seen by underwater explorers who dive Plankton—a group that consists of tiny organisms like algae and bacteria —make up the base of the

Lake Baikal, Irkutsk Region, Siberia, Elenka Island © Copyright Anton Petrus Lake Baikal, Irkutsk Region, Siberia, Elenka Island

After examining a number of oceanographic measurements and running their data through computer models, the researchers concluded that powerful winds associated with recent storm activity had stirred up the ocean, bringing some of these bacterial grazers to the surface, where they could be kicked up into the air.

The study doesn’t demonstrate that bacteria are forming clouds — simply that they’re making it into the atmosphere. But Creamean believes it’s a distinct possibility that some oceanic bacteria are reaching high enough altitudes to play a role in cloud formation.

“In the Arctic, clouds can be very low — down to 100 meters,” she said. “It’s very possible these things can interact with clouds.”

This is hardly the first paper to suggest Earth’s smallest organisms may have an impact on the weather — in fact, research into bioprecipitation dates back to at least the 1980s. Over the years, studies have suggested that microbes and their debris can brighten clouds, supercharge snowstorms and help create some of the biggest hail events.

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Severe snowy weather in winter or extreme rains in summer in the UK might be influenced by warming trends in the Arctic , according to climate external factors. This includes possible influences from the tropical oceans and solar energy changes Can Arctic warming influence UK extreme weather ?

The Arctic (/ˈɑːrktɪk/ or /ˈɑːrtɪk/) is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean , adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Finland, Greenland

Underwater - Blue Tropical Seabed With Reef And Sunbeam Underwater - Blue Tropical Seabed With Reef And Sunbeam

With the advent of new genomic tools, scientists are learning that there are entire microbial ecosystems wafting through the lower atmosphere and that some hardy bugs are even eking out a living in the stratosphere. It’s possible we’re just scratching the surface of their weather-making potential.

As far as Creamean’s new Arctic observations go, the regional weather in late August 2017 supports her explanation for the bacteria-spiked air, said Xiangdong Zhang, an atmospheric scientist at the International Arctic Research Center who wasn’t involved with the new study.

At that time, he said, there was a well-developed high-pressure system over the East Siberian Sea, complemented by a low-pressure system over Alaska.

a view of a beach: Drift ice floats past the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy during a voyage in the Arctic Ocean on July 29, 2017. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post) © Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post Drift ice floats past the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy during a voyage in the Arctic Ocean on July 29, 2017. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

“The short distance between these systems results in large pressure gradients and then large northerly and northeasterly winds to blow over the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait,” Zhang wrote in an email. “The large winds definitely increase ocean mixing and bring bottom materials to the surface.”

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The climate of the Arctic is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. There is a large amount of variability in climate across the Arctic

The Arctic Ocean has a surface area of about 14.056 million square kilometers (5.427 million The Lomonosov Ridge traverses the Arctic Ocean from the Lincoln Shelf (off Ellesmere Island and In addition to the 200 nautical mile economic zone, each country can extend its claim up to 350 nautical

It’s still early days for this research. But if ocean microbes do play a role in Arctic cloud formation, Creamean wonders how climate change could impact it.

Longer ice-free periods and warmer ocean waters are favoring the proliferation of phytoplankton in many parts of the Arctic. At the same time, some research suggests the Arctic could become stormier as sea ice recedes, perhaps enhancing Creamean’s seafloor-to-sky microbial pump.

Two Humpback whales are swimming together among icebergs in the arctic ocean, in Ilulissat, Greenland. On the iceberg there is a pool formation due to the ice melting. The picture has been taken with a drone © @Bertolazzi Monica Two Humpback whales are swimming together among icebergs in the arctic ocean, in Ilulissat, Greenland. On the iceberg there is a pool formation due to the ice melting. The picture has been taken with a drone

Creamean is now collecting more data aboard the German icebreaker Polarstern as part of the year-long MOSAiC mission to the Arctic Ocean.

Given the rapid changes the Arctic is undergoing, it’s more important than ever to tease out the complex interactions between biology, oceans, ice and the atmosphere, she said.

After all, what happens in the Arctic doesn’t necessarily stay there.

Seals usually found in the Arctic Ocean spotted in Cork and Kerry waters .
They would be sighted regularly off the coast of Greenland.An adult male Hooded Seal (Cystophora cristata) was seen in Schull, Cork, and a young ringed seal pup was spotted in Glenbeigh, Kerry.

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