Eric Collins Extra Credit

In Eric Collins seminar he talks about past and current trends of the Arctic Ocean, and possible future trends of its movement, geography, and microbial environment. The water that enters and exits the arctic ocean happens by multiple currents coming through the Bering straight, Greenland and various locations, all carrying fresh & salty water of varying temperatures and nutrients. He talks about the layers of the water that is created by ice, movement of the water at different depths, and location of the water. Each layer also holds slightly different environments and microbial worlds based on from where the water came from and how long it has been circulating in the ocean, and how much ice it may have been exposed to. He talks about the age of ice and how quickly it has been melting. The sudden change in the water and ice causes numerous negative effects in biology when it comes to spring, polar bear environments, and the lifespan of certain microbes that may only be found in the old sea ice. Eric Collins mentions that he is interested in finding out if there are any microbes that may be specific to the sea ice in the arctic, and how high the possibility of them becoming extinct may be due to the ice melting.

The information that Eric Collins shares with us in his seminar is very interesting. He gives some “fun facts” about the ocean, like how it used to be all fresh water and that it eventually sank and became oil; which is a little historical biology lesson about Alaska. The evidence of climate change due to melting sea ice is constantly talked about, and Collins’s evidence, graphs, and animations are great tools to help visually show people the evidence. We have talked about extremophiles in class and how important it is for each kind of organism to live in its proper environment ┬áto survive. Question: Eric says that the ice is melting at a quicker rate than people are able to observe and analyze, he says that because of this melting there is a possibility of losing some of microbes; is the ice melting too fast for any type of evolutionary change to happen with these microbes?

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