Photo courtesy of PHF
*found poem, science daily, 11/09/09
Annette Marie Hyder
in glacial pools
sink to sea-bed
to rest and store carbon
for a million years
*A found poem is a poem consisting of
words found in a nonpoetic context (such as a product label) and
usually broken into lines that convey a verse rhythm. Both the term and
the concept are modeled on the objet trouvé (French: “found
object”), an artifact not created as art or a natural object that is
held to have aesthetic value when taken out of its context. — Encyclopedia Britannica
Antarctica Glacier Retreat Creates New Carbon Dioxide Store; Has Beneficial Impact On Climate Change
Science Daily reports:
Large blooms of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton are flourishing in areas of open water left exposed by the recent and rapid melting of ice shelves and glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula. This remarkable colonisation is having a beneficial impact on climate change. As the blooms die back phytoplankton sinks to the sea-bed where it can store carbon for thousands or millions of years.
Reporting recently in the journal Global Change Biology, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) estimate that this new natural ‘sink’ is taking an estimated 3.5 million tonnes* of carbon from the ocean and atmosphere each year.
Lead author, Professor Lloyd Peck and his colleagues compared records of coastal glacial
retreat with records of the amount of chlorophyll (green plant pigment
essential for photosynthesis) in the ocean. They found that over the
past 50 years, melting ice has opened up at least 24,000 km2 of new
open water (an area similar to the size of Wales) — and this has been
colonised by carbon-absorbing phytoplankton. According to the authors
this new bloom is the second largest factor acting against climate
change so far discovered on Earth (the largest is new forest growth on
land in the Arctic).
*The 3.5 million tonnes of carbon taken from the ocean and atmosphere is equivalent to 12.8 million tonnes of CO2.