When it comes to our planet, we think we have a good idea of what is going on, and then something shocks us again. No one would have guessed that under the melting ponds in the Arctic we would find blooming algae. In one of the coldest climates on earth, no one would have believed it. But now pictures show the beautiful tale in living color. The world below the meting ponds is alive, and glowing with green. As researchers explore the once unnavigable area, and look at the environmental changes tales of new discoveries are coming out. From thermal vents with life teeming around them in the Antarctic, and new spores being brought by visitors and scientists, to algae growing and spreading under shallow pools of ice.
This algae can be toxic to some fish life and human life, though it does provide oxygen to the atmosphere. But signs show where there is heavy ice covering, none of it is present. Only the light that is concentrated from the ice pools is enough to give a fast paced growing environment to the algae. They seem to be larger and quicker at growing that their oceanic counterparts. The sparks of life under the ice show the true nature of our planet. The ability of life to spring up, in any place at any time is another show of nature. The true power of evolution and lives continued struggle.
This algae may encompass the whole region once larger masses of ice begin to disappear. While it is toxic to whales and humans, other fish feed off of the algae.This could change migration patterns in the future, making more and more fish swarm the area. While it could increase the populations of fishes that feed off it, there could be problems with migration timings. Since the area is still relatively cold during the bloom, waters might be too cool for spawning, and feeding. This has the potential of being devastating for fishes who miss out on the bloom, since it is a major source if food.
Only the future will show, but as we move towards global warming, cause by both man and volcanic action we see the changes and limits of our world. Many species are facing extinction, and others are adapting to change. The importance to life and adaptability has not changed, and will not. As long as the capacity for change exists, life will. But no life here is stationary. We have not escaped the necessary burden of evolution, but face new challenges every day.
The potential for the phytoplankton blooms to engulf the whole arctic exists, once enough of the glacial coverings have melted. It is hard to speculate what effect on the environment this could have. One thing is certain, the struggle for life continues even in extreme environments. This and the life that exists around the thermal vents, shows the capacity of life. While humans may face sever constraints due to global warming, other species could take advantage of the situation and thrive, as has been the case throughout history. Many people who are alive today will not see the changes in the global structure, but one thing is certain, they exist and are happening now. Even if we want to believe we are the masters of our environment the future may come without humans.