Superglacial Stream
Superglacial Stream

Researchers found that most of the carbon in the stream was produced by photosynthesizing bacteria.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A new study by an international team of scientists from the U.S., Germany and Sweden revealed that a previously undiscovered source of carbon in the polar regions might greatly influence the current models of glacial contribution to the global carbon cycle.

The study, published in the journal Nature Geosciences, showed that microbes living in streams flowing over glacial surface can be a part of an undiscovered dynamic local carbon cycle that can become a significant source of carbon as the temperatures rise worldwide and microbial activity increases.

“It is believed that the impact of this material on downstream ecosystems will be amplified,” said Christine Foreman, a researcher at Montana State University and an author on the paper, in…