Antarctica LIFE under ice: Explorers searching ‘seafloor communities’ Latest News

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Antarctica LIFE under ice: Explorers searching ‘seafloor communities’ Latest News

EXPLORERS are to dive beneath a huge ice shelf in Antarctica in a hunt for life in its freezing depths.


Antarctica missionGETTY


DIVING: The team will plunge beneath the ice shelf to search the seafloor

The divers want to go under the Ross Ice Shelf to examine the mysterious environment that lies metres below the surface.

The team of experts from Finland are keen to examine the “seafloor communities” that live may live under there.

The dangerous mission collecting samples in below-freezing water will see divers in wetsuits climbing under holes cut into the ice in 45-minutes bursts.

It is part of a wider mission to look at the effects global warming is having on the region.


“This area is special because it is the most southerly marine ecosystem on the planet”


Joanna Norkko, marine biologist

University of Helsinki marine biologist Joanna Norkko and her husband, Alf, will gather data on the research mission.

She said: “The objective of this diving expedition is to examine the sensitivity of Antarctic seafloor communities to climate change.

“This area is special because it is the most southerly marine ecosystem on the planet.

“The greatest risk is posed by seals, who in general are harmless, but who might take a fancy to our nice dive holes and just decide to occupy them. A 300-kilogram seal that does not want to move away from your dive hole is a bit of a problem.”

The issue of the effect climate change is having on Antarctica has been raised before.

In July, an iceberg weighing a trillion tons snapped off in what is believed to be the largest section to ever become detached in history.

The iceberg, from the Larsen C Ice Shelf, was roughly 6,000 sq km in size, making it four times the size of the whole city of London.




Antarctica LIFE under ice: Explorers searching ‘seafloor communities’ Latest News

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Antarctica LIFE under ice: Explorers searching 'seafloor communities' Latest News

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