What has changed in glacier cyanobacteria during the last 12 500 years? (Jak zmieniły się sinice żyjące na lodowcach w ciągu ostatnich 12 500 lat?)
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What has changed in glacier cyanobacteria during the last 12 500 years? (Jak zmieniły się sinice żyjące na lodowcach w ciągu ostatnich 12 500 lat?)

For those of you who are interested in polar or mountain biology even to a small extent, it is obvious that glaciers are inhabited by various organisms. Cyanobacteria play a crucial role among them as primary producers which provide heterotrophic organisms such as bacteria and microfauna with carbon. Cyanobacteria are hardly demanding organisms. In harsh … Continue reading

Mineral dust on the Greenland Ice Sheet originates even from distant tropical places (Pył mineralny na czapie lodowej na Grenlandii pochodzi nawet z dalekich tropikalnych miejsc)
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Mineral dust on the Greenland Ice Sheet originates even from distant tropical places (Pył mineralny na czapie lodowej na Grenlandii pochodzi nawet z dalekich tropikalnych miejsc)

Pollutants, microbes and dust are passively migrating along with the wind. This dust is important in the formation of cryoconite holes – water-filled reservoirs on the surface of glaciers. How does it work? Dark dust on ice is called cryoconite and it is transported along with the wind onto a glacier’s surface. Along with pigmented … Continue reading

Is it possible to predict algae blooming on snow? (Czy można przewidzieć zakwity glonów na śniegu?)
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Is it possible to predict algae blooming on snow? (Czy można przewidzieć zakwity glonów na śniegu?)

Red snow is just an effect of red algae blooming. It is usually called watermelon snow although the appearance of this colour on snow does not have anything to do with the fruit. Chlamydomonas nivalis is a species responsible for the blooming of snow. I am always amazed by how, within just a few days, … Continue reading

Helicopters as a source of recent black carbon in pristine Antarctic lakes (Helikoptery jako źródło współczesnego czarnego węgla w dziewiczych jeziorach antarktycznych)
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Helicopters as a source of recent black carbon in pristine Antarctic lakes (Helikoptery jako źródło współczesnego czarnego węgla w dziewiczych jeziorach antarktycznych)

In the recorded history, Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth to be discovered and colonized by humans. More than 170 million years ago, Antarctica was part of  Gondwana – a supercontinent. Antarctica separated from Gondwana ca. 170 million years ago, and as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago. Due to … Continue reading

Anthropic contaminants are accumulated, stored and released from glaciers (Zanieczyszczenia cywilizacyjne są akumulowane, a następnie  uwalniane z topniejących lodowców)
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Anthropic contaminants are accumulated, stored and released from glaciers (Zanieczyszczenia cywilizacyjne są akumulowane, a następnie uwalniane z topniejących lodowców)

Can you imagine the picks of the European Alps without glaciers? Such a dramatic scenario is likely to take place by the end of 2100. As a source of electric power, water for domestic use and a supply of water for downstream ecosystems mountain glaciers are of great importance. Currently, they are melting and release … Continue reading

Unexpected sources of iron for Antarctic marine ecosystems (Niespodziewane źródło żelaza dla ekosystemów morskich w Antarktyce)
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Unexpected sources of iron for Antarctic marine ecosystems (Niespodziewane źródło żelaza dla ekosystemów morskich w Antarktyce)

What do you see when you think of iron? Probably bars, bridges, cars or plains. In general, the objects you can observe constitute some significant elements of a system we call industry and transport. This element however, is also essential to biological functioning of all organisms. It is crucial for a number of processes such … Continue reading

May glaciers and sea ice ecosystems on Earth be analogues to icy planets and moons? (Czy lodowce i lód morski na Ziemi mogą być analogią do księżyców i planet pokrytych lodem?)
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May glaciers and sea ice ecosystems on Earth be analogues to icy planets and moons? (Czy lodowce i lód morski na Ziemi mogą być analogią do księżyców i planet pokrytych lodem?)

The Earth is not the only celestial body in the universe partially covered with ice. To focus on Earth’s glaciers as a habitat that can be similar to glaciers on other moons and planets has been of interest to astrobiologists for several years. Whoever has seen Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” should probably remember the icy planet … Continue reading