PDA

View Full Version : Arctic Mystery Goo



sarongsong
2009-Jul-15, 04:00 PM
July 15, 2009
...Something big and strange is floating through the Chukchi Sea (http://encarta.msn.com/map_701530180/chukchi_sea.html) between Wainwright and Barrow...It's thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles..."It's certainly biological," Hasenauer said. "It's definitely not an oil product of any kind..."
The Anchorage Daily News (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/environment/story/71842.html)Algae?

thoth II
2009-Jul-15, 05:21 PM
I was surprised today when I was reading about Barrow and saw a yahoo satellite map around it. I was surprised to see brown-green when I was expecting permanent ice cap. Evidently, in summer, the top cm of permafrost melts, creates a swampy cold bog, and mosses grow. I have no idea what this goo is, but it just amazes me that there are swamps around Barrow that remind me of the Everglades that surround me.

jlhredshift
2009-Jul-15, 05:45 PM
I was surprised today when I was reading about Barrow and saw a yahoo satellite map around it. I was surprised to see brown-green when I was expecting permanent ice cap. Evidently, in summer, the top cm of permafrost melts, creates a swampy cold bog, and mosses grow. I have no idea what this goo is, but it just amazes me that there are swamps around Barrow that remind me of the Everglades that surround me.

It boggles the mind.

sarongsong
2009-Jul-18, 12:35 AM
Bingo! :eek:
July 16th, 2009
Black goop afloat off Arctic coast identified as algae...experts don't know why there's so much of it...The color, in particular, didn't make sense...one possible explanation is that the algae has partially decomposed into a darker hue...
Anchorage Daily News (http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/867160.html)

Squink
2009-Jul-18, 12:55 AM
Black goop afloat off Arctic coast identified as algaeWas there ever much doubt?
It's not as if algal blooms are a rare happening in the world.

sarongsong
2009-Jul-18, 02:30 AM
Apparently, it is in this area---no records nor memories of a past occurrance uncovered.

Squink
2009-Jul-18, 03:02 AM
Apparently, it is in this area---no records nor memories of a past occurrance uncovered.Imagine that!
Do you suppose that sea surface temperatures could be getting higher earlier in the summer up there?
2007: Without its insulating ice cap, Arctic surface waters warm to as much as 5 C above average (http://www.sciencecodex.com/without_its_insulating_ice_cap_arctic_surface_wate rs_warm_to_as_much_as_5_c_above_average)
That could make algae grow faster.
If it grows fast enough, we call it an algal bloom.

sarongsong
2009-Jul-18, 04:07 AM
Right, but
...asked if the blob's surprise appearance could be connected to global warming, Whitledge hesitated to draw a link. "The water's actually very cold this year compared to other years," he said.

Squink
2009-Jul-18, 11:43 PM
Right, butYeah, I just think that the shock and mystification angle on this story was massively overplayed.
The very first picture I saw of the stuff had what looked to be perfectly ordinary strands of algae in it. Apparently journalists think they have to pretend that some sort of Ganymedan slime devil has infested the arctic sea in order to attract readers. Or maybe they're all just ignorant enough to be easily mystified.