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Antarctic icebergs -- Hotspots of ocean life

sequestration around free-floating icebergs,” said oceanographer Maria Vernet from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, one of the members of the research team.

“We used a small, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore the submerged sides of the icebergs and the waters between the bergs and where the ship was, standing off at a safe distance,” said Bruce Robison of MBARI, an oceanographer and ROV pilot. “We flew the ROV into underwater caves and to the undersides of the icebergs, identifying and counting animals with its color video camera, collecting samples, and surveying its topography.”

Based on their new understanding of the impacts of the icebergs and their growing numbers -- the researchers counted close to 1,000 in satellite images of some 4,300 square miles of ocean -- the scientists estimate that overall the icebergs are raising the biological productivity of nearly 40 percent of the Weddell Sea’s area.
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Source:University of California - San Diego


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