Researchers have proposed a brand new concept which will clarify why some Antarctic icebergs are tinged emerald inexperienced fairly than the conventional blue, doubtlessly fixing a many years-lengthy scientific thriller. Pure ice is blue as a result of ice absorbs extra crimson gentle than blue gentle. Most icebergs seem white or blue when floating in seawater, however because the early 1900s explorers and sailors have reported seeing peculiar inexperienced icebergs round sure elements of Antarctica.
The inexperienced icebergs have been a curiosity to scientists for many years, however now glaciologists report in a brand new research that they believe iron oxides in rock mud from Antarctica’s mainland are turning some icebergs inexperienced. They formulated the brand new principle after Australian researchers found massive quantities of iron in East Antarctica’s Amery Ice Shelf. Watch a video of the brand new findings right here.
Iron is a key nutrient for phytoplankton, microscopic vegetation that kind the bottom of the marine meals internet. However, iron is scarce in lots of areas of the ocean. If experiments show the brand new concept proper, it could imply inexperienced icebergs are ferrying treasured iron from Antarctica’s mainland to the open sea once they break off, offering this key nutrient to the organisms that assist practically all marine life.
“It is like taking a package deal to the submit workplace. The iceberg can ship this iron out into the ocean distant, after which soften and ship it to the phytoplankton that may use it as a nutrient,” stated Stephen Warren, a glaciologist on the College of Washington and lead creator of the brand new examine within the Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Oceans, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. “We at all times thought inexperienced icebergs had been simply an unique curiosity, however now we predict they could really be essential.”