New Jersey, Associate Professor, Researcher discussed on Science Friday
These rivers. We measured About a quarter is covered by this very thin layer of sediment that it's like, overlaying the ice. And did you notice that there was more sediment clumping in these rivers? PhD students out working with special Lightman. He's always been interested in settlements and he wanted to know like how much settlement is transporting these rivers. And so we went up to Greenland and we measured how much water's flowing and we took samples of the settlement. And then when we came back to Rutgers, Sasha took his samples, and he analyzed like the size of the settlement particles, and he came up with something super fascinating. It turns out that the settlement grain size he measured was too small to be deposited in the channels. It shouldn't be any settlement in those channels. At all. So we basically found more settlement in those channels Flood plains Then we would expect so. Then in your study, you came up with an idea for the causes while these sentiments and it was bacteria, exactly, I know e I don't know about you, but certainly I didn't think there were these significant biology on the surface of the ice sheet. But people have discovered algae on the ice sheet. There is terms like bile. Logical darkening of the ice sheet. The fact that biological activity on the ice sheet like materia algae can cost the ice sheet starts to become darker, which means it will absorb more of the solar radiation coming in. That means. If you have more solar radiation being absorbed, instead of reflecting back to space, you can have more melting. More water flowing onto the oceans and Risk of more sea level rise. So we remember all of that research and were like, Hey, wait a minute. Could it be that it's actually bacteria, algae and stuff like that? That is making the settlement larger than the mineral grains because what we measure which just the size of the minerals But then we realized these bacteria can actually clump it together. So it's becomes these larger Granules and those Granules fall apart when you go to the light taken to the lab in New Jersey, the transport from brain lynching New Jersey. They don't survive that you have the bacteria that's clumping up these sediments and like kind of maybe clogging up the rivers are just finding their ways in there more so than how does all that add up? Tombo Act the melting of the ice sheet? Cause the particles are larger. They're less likely to move away but flushed away by the water. It stays there, and it makes the channels appear darker, right? And that means it's absorb more solar radiation belts more Yeah. So what are the ways Convict area effect the ice Another term for is called cryo Connect. Creo Kaneda. Okay, maybe a little bit like a science fiction movie. It's just a mix of dust and mineral particles. Organic matter. And it's clumped together. When I go on the part of the issue that's melting every summer, which is called the ablation Zone. It's wife spread like it's on the surface. It's so dark compared to the ice that it melt down, right. You get sort of a hole that melts down. So what do you see all over? It's not this like. Clean ice surface. No, it's like a perforated surface with these crying tonight, Holes everywhere, says Carioca night that is just melted down into the ice roughly like a feet or so and that there's the dynamics to that, too. That's certainly influenced by by weather conditions. They tend to Um, form if you have strong solar radiation, and then if you have windy, overcast day they will sort of erode out. So there is a connection between Crying tonight on the surface and the streams so that it comes from the surface to the strings. There's another layer that's added on top of all this, which is climate change. How does climate change play a role in all of this? Because it's changing so fast in Greenland and green. Let's really been warming a lot over the last decades. The Arctic as a whole is warming at least twice the rate as global places. And because organic matter like bacteria, organic matter is going to be sensitive to the environmental conditions around him. You could imagine that you know that could be increased biological activity or depending on what kind of changes you have with respect to cloud cover and ancillary nation so on, it's hard to say exactly how it would change, but it probably would change. Futures unknown, but it's going to change. We know that's the one known. That's the known. Yeah, that's all the time we have. So thanks so much for joining us. Thank you. Also. Renner Mom is an associate professor of geography at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey for science Friday. I'm Alexa Lynn. Way enter the second year of the covert pandemic. Our first conversation on this program about the coronavirus happened this week one year ago, and during those early days we checked in with Corona virus researchers in three different labs. Scientists who had been studying Corona viruses for years wanted to know what the pandemic was like for them, working in a bio safety lab and have their lives and research had been impacted. Hear interviews we recorded eight months ago in May 2020. I mean, it really started December 30th. When this first announcement of this pneumonia outbreak and one that point, it was more kind of an excitement because we didn't realize how bad it would be. Then by late January, I think it was clear to us that there was a big problem. We first got this virus starts fully to the first week of February. So February March April, May it's been almost four months of basically nonstop, Billy brutally hard work, but it's really a marathon. But if you start a marathon sprinting you don't ask, so I don't know. I don't know how I'm still alive, but I am Afternoon evening is my Bill three lab time lately? I'm leaving there between like 99 30, usually sending the occasional message my husband promising like, Yeah, I'll be home before bedtime. And he writes back. Yeah, we'll see. Spend most of my day in the lab is really important, Obviously, to be careful to not bring that out of the facility, But now it's everywhere. You can pick it up in the grocery store on the playground. You can get it anywhere. So now I feel most safe within to be a cell three because it's the only place around truly protected against it, because I mean my bubble I got my own airflow might have a filter, so it's It's kind of face, right. I prefer to be right now. It's remarkably watching this virus move around the world when it's the virus that you work on. It's really weird, and we had to have conversations about like, if someone in our lab does become infected. How do we demonstrate that it wasn't from the lab? In a way? Our love is lucky because we were a coronavirus Pathogenesis lab beforehand. I already had to take my temperature every single day. I already had to be concerned about upper and lower respiratory symptoms. So anyone who's trying to rapidly adapt those people I feel really bad for You know, people ask, why don't we have a drug or get anybody for this thing yet? And the reason is because only one lab has really been funded to the Economist research in a large scale in the past 10 years. All of this is stuff that we've been trying to get people to pay attention to. For a while. I think the funny part of this story for me is that as of the end of last year, I didn't have enough money for the lab to continue through 2020 that has changed and we are now. Well funded and we'll be keeping this going for less. My career. I help people have been incredibly supportive. It was really bizarre when I got my first couple of messages coming in through Facebook or something, you know. Thanks for what you're doing. I'm not in the military. This is something I've never thought of. We have another drug that is now entering phase two clinical trials that has just been picked up and Merck. I test that that concerns go B two and sent those data on and this is it's me about heading, make a graph sending it off and then see it in a newspaper. I mean, it's kind of like a dream for a researcher to be able to work at this level with this type of importance. That was from conversations back in May with Matthew Freeman, Lisa Grill in Ski and Andrea Prowse, Ear's and now eight months later, Dr Freeman is here to join us to talk about Reflections about that experience and give us an update. He's an associate professor in microbiology and immunology at the University.