More sunlight penetrates thinning sea ice, enabling algal growth
By letting sunlight through, thinning Arctic sea ice may be promoting the growth of algae, researchers suggest online February 14 in Science.
The alga Melosira arctica grows in long strands on the underside of sea ice. In summer 2012, scientists found large clumps of fresh algae, up to 50 centimeters across, that had fallen to the seafloor across the Central Arctic.
The researchers, led by Antje Boetius of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, inferred that the algae must have grown rapidly because more than 95 percent of the region&rsquo