Microbes fuelled by wind-blown mineral dust melt the Greenland ice sheet

ScienceDaily | Jan 25, 2021 at 8:02 PM
  • The research, published in Nature Communications, investigates the origin and impact of this phosphorus on algal blooms the Greenland Ice Sheet, improving understanding of how glacier ice algal blooms will contribute to future ice sheet melting.
  • By examining the surface dust, the scientists were able to demonstrate how phosphorus is used as a key nutrient to help the algae grow, identifying the phosphorus-bearing mineral hydroxylapatite as the source of fuel for the blooms in the Dark Zone.
  • Dr Jenine McCutcheon led the study while at Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada.