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Marshall, Matthew G.; Kellerman, Anne M.; Wadham, Jemma Louise; Hawkings, Jon R.; Daneri, Giovanni; Torres, Rodrigo; Pryer, Helena V.; Beaton, Alexander; Ng, Hong Chin; Urra, Alejandra; Robinson, Laura F.; Spencer, Robert G.M.

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Cearreta, Alejandro; Irabien, María Jesús; Arozamena, José E. Gómez; El Bani Altuna, Naima; Goffard, Aintzane; García-Artola, Ane

Journal: Journal of Marine Systems

Photo

A cautious return to the sea-ice.

Henry Patton (left), Anna Silyakova and Christine Lockwood-Ireland make their way back to the ice pack in the Greenland Sea.  Anna Silyakova was collecting ice cores from the sea ice to investigate methane-associated processes within, when the group was interrupted by a passing polar bear. They had to quickly abandon station and return to the safety of the research vessel Kronprins Haakon.

Methane is a greenhouse gas, and as it rises through the water column it gets captured within the sea-ice structure during ice formation. Although ice typically behaves as a barrier for gases to go through, sea-ice is often permeable and a great mediator of gas exchange in polar regions. Being porous, sea-ice provides paths for gases like methane to pass from the ocean surface to the atmosphere where it can make an impact on climate. So, after a polar bear break the scientists returned to the ice pack, albeit cautiously, and collected more samples.

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