On 24th May I spoke to the Biodiversity Festival - it was moderated over a Zoom call and live streamed to Youtube. You can watch HERE. I was talking about an often overlooked aspect of glacier melting that ties in very tightly with the theme of biodiversity. Here's a transcript: We do not usually think … Continue reading Biodiversity Day Talk: Ice Alive
This week Open Access Government published the third in a series of articles I have written about Arctic science. The first showed why it is critical to understand the past, present and future of the Arctic; the second examined AI and machine learning and their potential to help us to understand and predict Arctic change, … Continue reading We all foot the bill for a warmer Arctic
Our new paper, "Metabolome induced biocryomorphic evolution promotes carbon fixation in Greenlandic cryoconite holes" came out this week. The main finding is that cryoconite holes can change their shape in three dimensions to maintain comfortable conditions for microbial life - an example of biocryomorphology in action. Here's a summary of the main points: Cryoconite holes … Continue reading Biocryomorphic evolution on the Greenland Ice Sheet
I recently read the fantastic ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. His dedication to realising his childhood dream of going into space is truly inspiring and his account of the many important lessons learned through the entire process, from school to space-station are thought provoking and widely applicable. What … Continue reading An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Ice?
New scientist recently published an article introducing cryoconite holes as oases for microbial life on ice surfaces. As 'new scientists' working on cryoconite, colleagues Arwyn Edwards (Aberystwyth University), Karen Cameron (GEUS / Dark Snow Project) and I were interviewed by science writer Nick Kennedy. Of course only a few sound-bites made it into the final … Continue reading New Scientist’s “Icy Oases” Article: The full interviews!
Huge thanks to Jesamine Bartlett - a recent MSc graduate from the University of Sheffield who has been working on Tardigrade research - for providing this introduction to the weird world of water bears... Whether or not you like microbiology, bugs, or even science, no one can deny the frankly awesome nature of the Tardigrade. … Continue reading Water Bears on Ice: Guest blog by Jesamine Bartlett
At the top of the highest mountains - where air is thin, solar irradiance intense, meteorology unpredictable, temperatures low and food scarce - spiders live on snow. The same spiders that are found in much more favourable conditions at sea level around the world. With no specific adaptations and no obvious lower trophic levels to … Continue reading Living the High Life… in the aeolian biome
Some under- and post-grad students recently asked me to explain how to measure NEP in cryoconite holes, and this post represents a brief overview on their behalf - apologies to other readers who may find this a bit "niche" - something more accessible next time! What is NEP? NEP stands for Net Ecosystem Productivity and is a … Continue reading Measuring NEP
C Flux Modelling To date, three attempts have been made to model carbon (C) fluxes in the supraglacial environment, all in the past five years. These models tried to reconcile 'snapshot' measurements of net ecosystem productivity (relative rates of photosynthesis and respiration - NEP) made at a small number of sites with atmospheric carbon fluxes … Continue reading Carbon Flux Modelling
Carbon cycling on glaciers has received a lot of attention over the past decade because it impacts glacier albedo and therefore melt rates, as well as regional atmospheric carbon concentrations. Atmospheric carbon concentrations and glacier retreat are known to be tightly coupled at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. This article will concentrate … Continue reading Nutrient Cycling on Glaciers 2: Carbon