McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER News

Antarctic salty soil sucks water out of atmosphere: Could it happen on Mars?(J. Levy, AG Fountain, K Welch and BW Lyons)

As posted:
he frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold, polar desert, yet the sandy soils there are frequently dotted with moist patches in the spring despite a lack of snowmelt and no possibility of rain.

A new study, led by an Oregon State University geologist, has found that that the salty soils in the region actually suck moisture out of the atmosphere, raising the possibility that such a process could take place on Mars or on other planets.

Antarctita as seen through the eyes of OHioans (features Berry Lyons and Diane McKnight)

John Priscu on the challenges and opportunities on reaching Lake Vostok

Transcript follows:


This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Think of Antarctica as the world's largest ice cube. Ninety percent of the world's ice is locked up down there. But Antarctica is also home to one of the fastest-warming spots on the planet, the Antarctic Peninsula. That's the tip that points towards South America.

Diane McKnight, lead PI of McMurdo Dry Valleys, NAE elected member for elucidating the interrelationship between natural organic matter and heavy metals in streams and lakes.

Read about life, research, and everything, from our team members in Antarctica
Abstract submission deadline for SCAR 2010, April 15
MCM members are currently in the field. Read about life and research in Antarctica.
Dr. Jill Mikucki from Dartmouth College describes ancient microbial communities living in Blood Falls below the Taylor Glacier
Hassan Basagic from Portland State University describes the essential role of polar glaciers in supporting the bare-bones ecosystems in the Dry Valleys
Meteorological Data can now be downloaded through the 07-08 season. Fryxell, Hoare and Bonney stations contain data through the extended season.
Blood Falls and the Dry Valleys are featured on NASA's Earth Observatory website
Basecamp website for project management is now available
Scanned images of hand-written stream field notes are now searchable online back to 1993. Many thanks to Jane Turner!
Live flow data are being telemetered from the Onyx River in Antarctica by the USGS. Download data here.
MCM members are currently in the field. Read about life and research in Antarctica.
Read Peter Doran's Op-Ed piece on global warming in the July 27 New York Times!
Dr. Diana Wall named University Distinguished Professor
An Antarctic Ecosystem Shows Signs of Trouble as a Tiny Worm Turns.