Huge iceberg wreaks havoc on Antarctic marine ecosystem, study finds

For the second time in 26 months, a massive iceberg has clogged a large portion of Antarctica's Ross Sea, causing what could turn out to be a devastating loss of penguins and other marine life, according to a NASA-funded study by Stanford scientists. Using satellite data, geophysicists Kevin Arrigo and Gert L. van Dijken monitored the movements of a giant iceberg named "C-19," which calved off the western face of the Ross Ice Shelf in May 2002. C-19 is one of the largest icebergs ever recorded -- 19.2 miles wide and 124 miles long, or nearly twice as big as Rhode Island.

Arrigo is an assistant professor of geophysics, and van Dijken is a science and engineering associate in the department. In a study published in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters, the authors described how C-19 drifted northward from May until November 2002, when it apparently ran aground. By January 2003, the iceberg had become trapped against a shallow bank, eventually forming a perpendicular barrier that prevented sea ice from moving out of the southwestern Ross Sea for the next three months -- a crucial time of year when tons of microscopic marine algae, called phytoplankton, normally bloom in open water.

Phytoplankton are a major food source for krill, which in turn are consumed by fish, seals, penguins and whales. Without massive amounts of phytoplankton, the entire food chain in the Ross Sea can collapse.

Like plants, phytoplankton grow through the process of photosynthesis, using chlorophyll to convert sunlight into food. But unusually high levels of sea ice will block sunshine, preventing phytoplankton from growing.

Green waters

To determine phytoplankton production levels in the Ross Sea, the researchers examined data from SeaWIFS -- the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor aboard NASA's SeaStar satellite.

"SeaWIFS measures the amount of light coming out of the ocean at different wavelengths," noted Arrig

Contact: Mark Shwartz
Stanford University

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. MicroRNA targets: How big is the iceberg?
2. Huge Antarctic iceberg makes a big splash on sea life
3. Massive icebergs may affect Antarctic sea life and food chain
4. Giant icebergs, unprecedented ice conditions threaten Antarctic penguin colonies
5. First sea-level photographs released of massive Antarctic iceberg
6. Tiny beetle wreaks havoc on Texas ornamental tree nurseries
7. JAK2 enzyme helps protect brain cells, wreaks havoc on blood vessels
8. Unwanted HRT playing havoc with songbirds
9. Dispute over life in Antarctic lake
10. Design competition for new Antarctic Research Station
11. The Hunters Breath tells a story of adventure and discovery in Antarctica

Post Your Comments:
TAG: Huge iceberg wreaks havoc Antarctic marine ecosystem study finds

(Date:9/30/2015)... Calif. , Sept. 30, 2015  With nearly ... the number of new SCIs estimated to reach 12,500 ... Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living ... ILCs in California opening doors ... range of programs and services, notably assistive technology services ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , Sept. 29, 2015 ... technology improves employee productivity while also saving energy ... features such as Low Power Active Mode and embedded ... workplace transformation Fujitsu today shows that ... of new and refreshed models to its enterprise desktop ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... Sept. 28, 2015  The monitoring of vital ... body temperature, is an essential component of patient ... of deterioration in a patient,s condition. However, in ... are typically taken during routine observation rounds only ... patient deteriorates between these observation rounds, the warning ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... 08, 2015 , ... Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic ... and results in dysfunction of the lungs and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In ... is very difficult to clear, blocks the airways and the glands, and creates ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... ... 07, 2015 , ... Neil Riordan, PhD to Discuss Medicinal Effects of Mesenchymal ... Mar-a-Lago from 3:50 pm to 4:30 pm. , Dr. Riordan is one of the ... He is the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the Riordan-McKenna Institute ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... 2015  ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTRV ) ... the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, today ... 5,000,000 shares of its common stock and warrants to ... stock at a fixed combined price to the public ... will be issued separately.  The warrants will be exercisable ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... Pa. , Oct. 7, 2015   VWR ... independent provider of laboratory products, services and solutions, ... Inc. (PTI), a specialty solvent company that performs ... This acquisition will enhance VWR,s growing laboratory and ... laboratory and biopharmaceutical manufacturing customers. Manuel ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: