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Polar Roundup

July 13, 2007

Icebergs are the perfect home for some organisms, and researchers explore an undersea ridge.


Secrets on ice. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Most of an iceberg’s mass lies hidden beneath the surface. Turns out that antarctic icebergs hide something else underwater: life. Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have found that icebergs harbor thriving communities of algae, krill and fish. As the ice melts, it releases iron and other nutrients that accumulated over thousands of years, fertilizing the water, and sustaining the community.

On the other side of the world, researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute are exploring one of the most remote places on earth: an undersea ridge, deep beneath Arctic Ocean ice. They’ll be using two autonomous robots that will descend five thousand meters to take photographs and collect samples. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.