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Extreme Life and Environments


Cryoconites in glacier ice. Cryoconite are a water filled cylindrical melt-holes that can be easily found on glacial ice surface. The size of these holes is variable but always in the range of centimetres. At bottom of the holes, there is dark material that absorbs solar radiation and promotes melting of the ice beneath it, forming these cylindrical holes. This cryoconites play an important role in the glacier ecosystems because many kinds of living organisms (algae, tardigrada, insects and ice worm) can found nutrients and thrive.
Credit: Juan Diego Rodriguez

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