Gallery: NASA Team Discovers Massive Algal Bloom Under Arctic Ice

The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is NASA's two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research takes place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen For updates on the five-week ICESCAPE voyage, visit the mission blog at: NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

A NASA team, led by a leading biologist from Stanford University, have found an phytoplankton bloom beneath ice in the Arctic. The team believes the algae is a result of major changes in Arctic ecosystems as the planet warms. The discovery was made by the 2011 NASA-sponsored ICESCAPE expedition under the Chukchi Sea, and it has caused scientists to completely rethink how Arctic ecosystems work and what the future holds for the region.

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  1. Zaihan Kariyani August 30, 2014 at 10:41 am

    “…melting ice had allowed ice to penetrate large swaths of Arctic sea…”

    This is like two years old, but I think you meant “allowed light to penetrate” instead?

  2. Timon Singh June 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for pointing that out! It’s all fixed now.

    I’m going to put that down to too much coffee!


  3. lizcamfield June 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

    allowing the algae to multiple. What is means is that thick “multi-year” ice

    Oops! “multiply”, “What it means is”

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