Life beneath the ‘berg

Scientists find Antarctic icebergs play a new and bigger role in the climate cycle

By Stephen Ornes, 13:52 PM June 1, 2011


Icebergs support thriving communities of living organisms above and below the water’s surface.



Icebergs are famous for keeping secrets: The bulk of these giant, icy islands floats beneath the surface of the sea. A 700-foot-tall iceberg, for example, may extend only 100 feet above water. But as new research shows, ice isn’t the only thing icebergs hide. Scientists recently found that free-floating icebergs around Antarctica deposit iron in the water. This iron acts like a vitamin, boosting the growth of tiny plants and algae nearby.


Those growing plants and algae are at the bottom of...

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