Greenland ice sheet: – Discovery of a new giant virus

Greenland ice sheet: – Discovery of a new giant virus

Briefly

  • The discovery of a new giant virus on the Greenland ice sheet could slow the melting of the ice.
  • Researchers at Aarhus University believe the virus could regulate the growth of algae, increasing their solubility.
  • This could help slow climate change.

The so-called giant virus was recently discovered on the Greenland ice sheet.

According to the researchers who discovered the virus, it may be one of the most positive discoveries made on the ice sheet in recent years.

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He revived the “zombie virus”


There are plenty of indications that the new virus could determine how much ice in Greenland melts. And a new one appears StadyIt was conducted by researchers at the Department of Environmental Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark.

There is a lot we still do not know about giant viruses, but there is evidence that they may be useful in terms of slowing the melting of ice, due to algae, as researcher Laura Perini says in an interview. press release.

Samples: Genetic markers from the samples show the presence of a giant virus in the ice.  Here the microscope shows some other microorganisms from the samples.  Photo: Laura Perini/Aarhus University

Samples: Genetic markers from the samples show the presence of a giant virus in the ice. Here the microscope shows some other microorganisms from the samples. Photo: Laura Perini/Aarhus University
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Algae increases the dissolution process

Almost all of Greenland is covered in ice, and for a long time scientists believed there was no life to be found in the vast landscape composed solely of ice.

However, scientists today know that many different microorganisms live on ice, including viruses and giant algae.

When the sun returns to the North Pole during spring, algae also begins to bloom again on the ice.

Because the algae is black, it causes ice to melt faster, which in turn causes climate change.

Algae can be regulated

According to Laura Perini and her colleagues, giant viruses that live on ice could help regulate the weight of algae.

-We do not yet know how easy and effective it is to benefit from it. But by examining them more closely, we hope we can answer some of these questions, Perini says.

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If you can fight algae with a giant virus, there could be big benefits to ice.

Reduced algae makes the ice whiter, so it can reflect more sunlight. This in turn means that the virus could help the algae make the ice melt more slowly.

Water: Algae samples that color ice and water black.  Photo: Laura Perini/Aarhus University

Water: Algae samples that color ice and water black. Photo: Laura Perini/Aarhus University
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New virus

Giant viruses have been known since 1981, when they were first discovered in the sea. By then, the virus had infected green algae in the sea.

Giant viruses are therefore a relatively new discovery, so more knowledge about the properties of the virus is still needed.

However, this is the first time a giant virus has been found on the ice sheet, and the virus was found through analyzes of dark ice, red snow and melt holes.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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