The iceberg, called A-74, separated about two weeks ago and began drifting across the Weddell Sea.
As the only research vessel nearby, the Polarstern research icebreaker took the opportunity to explore, breaking through the gap between the A-74 and the Brunt Ice Shelf.
Their team consisted of scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and other international partners, according to Wednesday press release.
The “once in a lifetime” photos taken by the crew revealed an “astonishing level of biodiversity, and sediment samples taken from the sea floor are expected to provide more detailed insights into the ecosystem.”
In addition to, Geochemical analysis From the water samples collected will allow inferences to be made regarding their nutrient content and ocean currents
Video footage and a large collection of images captured with OFOBS (Ocean floor monitoring and bathymetry system) It revealed life deep below the surface and many organisms surrounded by muddy landscapes.
The majority of these creatures were colander, although experts have also found sea cucumbers, starfish, mollusks, and at least five species of fish and two types of squid.
Hundreds of marine species live in Antarctic waters but, like LiveScience reported Friday, The presence of fixed filter nutrients that eat phytoplankton – which Dependence on sunlight For photosynthesis – meters under the ice were surprising.
AWI indicated in the statement that the research was essential to better understand birth events and that it is rare for them to be near an area devoid of ice and in contact with sunlight – especially for large icebergs such as the A-74.
The team has also placed research buoys in the area in order to gather data on water temperature, salinity and ocean current velocities.
It is a step they believe will help scientists make the information more accurate Climate models For the region where Antarctica continues to lose ice mass at an alarming rate.
“These data form the basis of our simulations of how the ice sheet is responding to climate change. As a result, we can say with a greater degree of certainty how quickly sea level will rise in the future – and provide the political community with the political community,” said Dr. Hartmut Helmer, physical oceanographer and chief of mission AWI, society as a whole has sound data to make decisions about the necessary measures to adapt to climate change.