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Scientists Plan to Explore Hidden Antarctic Ecosystem After Loss of Giant Iceberg

Source: Phys.org/British Antarctic Survey - October 10, 2017 in Adventure, Featured

Scientists Plan to Explore Hidden Antarctic Ecosystem After Loss of Giant Iceberg
Photo: NSF/Josh Landis/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

A team of scientists, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), is planning an urgent mission to investigate a mysterious marine ecosystem that’s been hidden beneath an Antarctic ice shelf for up to 120,000 years. The researchers want to discover how this marine ecosystem will respond to environmental change in a climate-sensitive region.

The massive calving of the Larsen C Ice Shelf A68 iceberg, which is four times the size of London, exposes around 5,818 km2 of seabed. The research team is planning a ship-borne research cruise to the region before the biological communities there begin to change following the movement of the giant iceberg. However, they can only achieve this if the iceberg continues on its path away from the remaining .

Satellite monitoring will reveal options for navigating through the sea ice. All being well the team will spend three weeks in February 2018 on board the BAS research ship RRS James Clark Ross.

Marine biologist Dr Katrin Linse from British Antarctic Survey is leading the mission. She says:

“We have a unique opportunity to study how marine life responds to a dramatic .

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