Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















ICE WORLD
Warm Antarctic caves harbour secret life: scientists
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Sept 8, 2017


A secret world of animals and plants -- including unknown species -- may live in warm caves under Antarctica's glaciers, scientists said Friday.

The caves, hollowed out by steam from active volcanoes, are light and could reach temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), researchers said, raising the possibility of a whole ecosystem of flora and fauna deep beneath the frozen surface.

A study led by the Australian National University around Mount Erebus, an active volcano on Ross Island in Antarctica, showed extensive cave systems.

Lead researcher Ceridwen Fraser said forensic analyses of soil samples from the caves had revealed intriguing traces of DNA from algae, mosses and small animals.

While most of the DNA was similar to mosses, algae and invertebrates found elsewhere in Antarctica, not all sequences could be fully identified.

"The results from this study give us a tantalising glimpse of what might live beneath the ice in Antarctica -- there might even be new species of animals and plants," she said.

"The next step is to go and have a really good look and see if we can find communities living beneath the ice in Antarctica."

Despite the continent's freezing temperatures, Fraser said heat emanating from the volcanoes could make the caves quite hospitable, warm enough "to wear a t-shirt and be comfortable", with light filtering deep down where the overlying ice was thin.

Co-researcher Charles Lee, from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, said there were many other volcanoes in Antarctica, so subglacial cave systems could be common.

"We don't yet know just how many cave systems exist around Antarctica's volcanoes, or how interconnected these subglacial environments might be," he said.

"They're really difficult to identify, get to and explore."

The research, published in international journal Polar Biology, said there were more than 15 volcanoes in Antarctica that were either known to be currently active or show evidence of recent activity, with new ones continuing to be found.

But despite recent advances in understanding Antarctic biodiversity, scientists still know "little about life in the continent's subglacial cave systems, which may harbour diverse and complex communities".

"Our results highlight the importance of investigating these cave systems in greater detail -- despite the field challenges associated with such an endeavour - to confirm the presence of living macrobiota," it said.

ICE WORLD
Massive Antarctic volcanic eruptions linked to abrupt Southern hemisphere climate changes
Reno NV (SPX) Sep 07, 2017
New findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) by Desert Research Institute (DRI) Professor Joseph R. McConnell, Ph.D., and colleagues document a 192-year series of volcanic eruptions in Antarctica that coincided with accelerated deglaciation about 17,700 years ago. "Detailed chemical measurements in Antarctic ice cores ... read more

Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ICE WORLD
Voyager Spacecraft: 40 Years of Solar System Discoveries

Trump names former Navy aviator to head NASA

What's hot and what's not at Berlin's IFA tech fair

'Star Trek' actor Shatner sends message to Voyager

ICE WORLD
Rocket fever launches UB students to engineering competition in New Mexico

NASA Concludes Summer of Testing with Fifth Flight Controller Hot Fire

ISRO suspects pyro elements failed to separate rocket's heat shield

Ariane 5 rocket aborts Guiana lift-off in final seconds

ICE WORLD
Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

Life on Mars: Let's Try Oman Desert First for Space Mission

Citizen scientists spot Martian 'spiders' in unexpected places

Big dishes band together

ICE WORLD
China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

Kuaizhou-11 to send six satellites into space

Russia, China May Sign 5-Year Agreement on Joint Space Exploration

ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

ICE WORLD
Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

Blue Sky Network Reaffirms Commitment to Brazilian Market

India to Launch Exclusive Satellite for Afghanistan

Lockheed Martin invests $350M in state-of-the-art satellite production facility

ICE WORLD
New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

Chinese video site offers virtual escape from 'boring' reality

Chinese video site offers virtual escape from 'boring' reality

Molecules move faster near sticky surfaces

ICE WORLD
Could interstellar ice provide the answer to birth of DNA

Climate change for aliens

X-Rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-Hosting Stars

Earth as Hybrid Planet: The Anthropocene Era in Astrobiological Context

ICE WORLD
Pluto features given first official names

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby

Juno Scientists Prepare for Seventh Science Pass of Jupiter




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement