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Scientists unlock the secrets of glacier-fed streams

Tom J. Battin

The research of NOMIS scientist Tom Battin and his team has been profiled in an article by EPFL. They have also published a video describing the team’s expeditions to remote glaciers to study the microorganisms living in glacier-fed streams.

The field scientists working on the Vanishing Glaciers project, supported by the NOMIS Foundation, aren’t afraid of heights. They climb to the icy peaks of mountain ranges from the Himalayas to the Alps, equipped with vials, pipettes, thermometers and liquid-nitrogen cylinders (which they’ve nicknamed Dido and Fido). Their goal is to collect samples of the microorganisms living in glacier-fed streams and bring them back to EPFL for analysis by their colleagues.

As the world’s glaciers disappear, they are taking with them well-kept secrets. Glacial melting is one of the most visible signs of climate change and will eventually cause glacier-fed streams to dry up – destroying an important, unique ecosystem.

 

Continue reading this EPFL article

Feature image: New-Zealand expedition (Photo © Laboratoire SBER/EPFL)

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Full professor of environmental sciences, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering
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