Scientists uncover Antarctic marine life trapped under ice for more than 50 years

After an iceberg broke down on the Antarctic ice sheet and began to move through the Weddell Sea, researchers found a glimpse of marine life living deep beneath the ice. This was revealed after five decades of ice cover. Using the German research vessel Polarstern, the researchers found hours of photographs and thousands of images of the reconstructed creatures that lived 18 miles below the surface.

According to the reports by Live Science, the researchers found a community of mollusks, filter feeders, starfish, sea cucumbers, and at least five species of fish and two species of squid. German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek said, “This is a unique opportunity for researchers aboard the Polarstern to explore the Antarctic ice sheet. I am grateful to the Polarstern team for accepting the hardships involved and also the risks. Pole research is making a significant contribution to understanding and predicting climate change and its effects on our land. We need this knowledge to be able to take effective side effects against climate change. The effects of climate change in Antarctica, among others, are worrying. ”

Analyzing the seabed

The research was crucial to understanding the processes by which the events were moving. An iceberg is only as big as it gives birth about once every 10 years in Antarctica. According to AWI experts, Antarctica is currently losing ice mass at a higher rate than it was before 2000. The researchers, in order to create simulations, need data from the specific regions.

Dr Hartmut Hellmer, AWI physicist and tour leader, said, “We are very fortunate to be able to respond flexibly and investigate a calf incident at the Brunt Ice Shelf”. He said, “Having said that, I am even more pleased to have achieved a number of moorings, which will continue to record basic data on temperature, salinity, and normal ocean directions and distances once we away. This data forms the basis of our simulations of how the ice sheet is responding to climate change. As a result, we can say with a higher degree of certainty how fast sea levels will rise in the future – and provide strong data to the political community and society at large for its making decisions on necessary climate change adaptation measures ”.

The deep-sea research team saw a number of organisms that had settled on rocks of various sizes. The stones come from the Antarctic continent and are carried to the ocean by glaciers. Most of the organisms on them are seeds. As per AWE, in the future, new technologies such as automated underwater robots will be used to study such habitats.