Polar Glaciers May Be Home to Previously Undiscovered Carbon Cycle



From: Science Daily, April 12, 2017


According to these scientists, we may have underestimated the contribution of the arctic and Antarctic to the carbon cycle. It was previously believed that the release of carbon from melting glaciers was due to the release of frozen organic material. However, this study found that much of it is actually due to bacterial living in these newly melted glacial streams.


We spent a good deal of time on the carbon cycle in class and how a carbon cycle could possibly exist outside of our world. This could be a whole new factor to consider.

Critical Analysis:

This article is more of a brief summary of this study rather than a full analysis. As this study is in its very early stages, it could be that there simply isn’t more information known yet. Clearly, this article was written assuming that the audience had a decent background in the carbon cycle and global warming.


I would like to know exactly what bacteria is growing in these extreme conditions, and how they got there. Were they already frozen in the ice and lying dormant or were they introduced somehow?


1 Comment for “Polar Glaciers May Be Home to Previously Undiscovered Carbon Cycle”



I agree that the target audience is meant to know something about what causes climate change and how the carbon cycle works because if we did not know that the release of CO2 into the atmosphere was a concern, we would not know the meaning of this article. To answer your question, I have found an article that suggests that the microbes have been trapped in the ice lying dormant until they are exposed to air and sun again. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/melting-glaciers-liberate-ancient-microbes/