Scientists find 650 Years Change in Sea Ice using Underwater Algae

Scientists find 650 Years Change in Sea Ice using Underwater Algae

Scientists from the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) states that growing layers of algae in underwater sea reveals changes in sea-ice cover in past 650 years. Jochen Halfar, an associate professor in UTM's department of chemical and physical sciences, said this research has been taken place for the first time in marine history.

Researchers said that coralline algae have been used for the first time to find out the changes in Arctic sea ice. Jochen said that new algal record depicts decrease in ice cover over past 150 years. Jochen along with his colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution, Germany and Newfoundland had collected and analyzed the images of underwater algae.

It has been reported that these long-lived plant species had formed thick rock like calcite crust beneath the surface of sea to about 15 to 17 meters deep. This layer of thick rock can be easily found distributed across the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Oceans.

Earlier, a research was led by Walter Adey, from the Smithsonian, in which divers on their cruise had collected samples of the algae from very cold seawater. The biological theory states that algal growth depends on the temperature of the water and the intensity of light on them.

Researchers said that the ice over Arctic sea melts during the warm months, leading to formation of crusts.

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