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The Antarctic is a truly inhospitable place…or is it? This evening we will discover how microscopic life has adapted to thrive in this cold dessert and what tiny fossils can tell us about how Antarctic sea ice has varied in the past. This night is kindly sponsored by Cardiff University School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.
Life in the Freezer: how do microbes survive in extreme cold environments?
Great God! This is an awful place’ was Captain Scott’s description of Antarctica. Yet for some microbes, it’s ideal. In this talk, we’ll examine the microorganisms that live in extreme cold climates, and try to understand how they have adapted to project themselves. Humans need shelter, protective clothing, energy sources and water to live in cold climates; are microbes just the same?
Sea ice: beating the rhythm of Earth's climate
Dr Jenny Pike (Reader in Palaeoclimate)
The seasonal growth and melt of sea ice is akin to the pulse of planet Earth; it reflects solar energy back into space and keeps the climate cool. Today, the growth of new sea ice doubles the area of Antarctica each winter and there is an ocean of sea ice in the Arctic. As sea ice melts, the water flows into water and vanishes without a trace – or does it? How do we know if there was more or less sea ice 100s, 1000s, or even millions of years ago? We can answer this question using evidence from tiny fossil marine diatoms – microscopic organisms that flourish in the chilly realm of the sea ice.