Saturday July 15, 2017
Toxins from Greenland's melting ice may be cleaned up by bacteria
more stories from this episode
- Drumming birds lay down a wicked beat to impress the ladies
- Future forest fires will be more frequent, bigger, and harder to control
- Brain training apps won't make you smarter
- Scientists scouring southern Canada for Zika-carrying mosquitos
- Toxins from Greenland's melting ice may be cleaned up by bacteria
- Whiskey-sipping artificial tongue has a taste for the good stuff
- Why don't we have potato-shaped planets?
- Full Episode
As our climate continues to warm, the ice sheets in the Arctic, including on Greenland, are melting faster than anywhere else in the world. This is contributing to rising sea levels, and changing ocean conditions. But there's another, more insidious hazard here: the release of toxic pollutants that until very recently have been locked up in Arctic ice.
- Purple algae and its impact on Greenland's ice
- Greenland Ice Sheet Slip Sliding Away
- An iceberg the size of P.E.I. is about to break off Antarctica
Over the last century or more, a range of nasty chemical pollutants from around the world have accumulated in Arctic ice. As the ice melts, these toxic chemicals can leach back into the environment. But according to a new study by Aviaja Hauptmann, a post doctoral researcher in microbiology at the University of Greenland, there's now a possibility we might be getting a little help with these toxins from pollution-eating bacteria.
Paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, Contamination of the Arctic reflected in microbial metagenomes from the Greenland ice sheet