The scientists drilled out cores of ice covering a briny Antarctic lake, finding abundant and diverse metabolically active bacteria in an environment that has been isolated from the surface environment — and external sources of energy — for at least 2,800 years, according to two of the report’s authors, Peter Doran and Fabien Kenig.
Lake Vida, the largest of several unique lakes found in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, contains no oxygen, is mostly frozen and possesses the highest nitrous oxide levels of any natural water body on Earth. A briny liquid that is approximately six times saltier than seawater percolates throughout the icy environment that has an average temperature of minus 13.5 degrees centigrade (or 8 degrees Fahrenheit). Continue reading “Scientists find life in ice-capped Antarctica lake”→
Study finds the insect epidemic may increase ambient levels of VOCs
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — As if millions of acres of dead forests aren’t enough, the waves of bark beetles spreading across the West may also be contributing to increased air pollution in the region.
A new study shows the insects can make trees release up to 20 times more of certain organic substances that foster haze and air pollution in forested areas. The gases, classified as volatile organic compounds — meant to be a defense against the beetles — are released from the beetles’ bore holes.