Life deep in the Earth + Shrinking glaciers & volcanic activity + Trash Islands

#1
Deep beneath the Earth’s surface life is weird and wonderful
https://aeon.co/essays/deep-beneath-the-...-wonderful

EXCERPT: The living landscape all around us is just a thin veneer atop the vast, little-understood bulk of the Earth’s interior. A widespread misconception about the deep subsurface is that this realm consists of a continuous mass of uniform compressed solid rock. Few are aware that this mass of rock is heavily fractured, and water runs in many of these fractures and faults, down to depths of many kilometres. The deep Earth supports an entire biosphere, largely cut off from the surface world, and is still only beginning to be explored and understood.

The amount of water in the subsurface is considerable. Globally, the freshwater reservoir in the subsurface is estimated to be up to 100 times as great as all the available fresh water in the rivers, lakes and swamps combined. This water, ranging in ages from seven years to 2 billion years, is being intensely studied by researchers because it defines the location and scope of deep life. We know now that the deep terrestrial subsurface is home to one quintillion simple (prokaryotic) cells. That is two to 20 times as many cells as live in all the open ocean. By some estimates, the deep biosphere could contain up to one third of Earth’s entire biomass.

To comprehend the deep biosphere, we must look past the familiar rules of biology. [...] Now imagine the challenges in places that have been isolated from sunlight and organic compounds derived from light-dependent reactions for millions or even billions of years. It seems incomprehensible that anything could survive there. Yet scientists [...] have found surprisingly diverse microorganisms in the deep Earth, adapted to a lifestyle independent of the Sun....

MORE: https://aeon.co/essays/deep-beneath-the-...-wonderful



Shrinking glacier cover could lead to increased volcanic activity in Iceland, warn scientists
https://phys.org/news/2017-11-climate-vo...tions.html

EXCERPT: A new study, led by the University of Leeds, has found that there was less volcanic activity in Iceland when glacier cover was more extensive and as the glaciers melted volcanic eruptions increased due to subsequent changes in surface pressure. Dr Graeme Swindles, from the School of Geography at Leeds, said: "Climate change caused by humans is creating rapid ice melt in volcanically active regions. In Iceland, this has put us on a path to more frequent volcanic eruptions."...



'Trash islands' off Central America indicate ocean pollution problem
https://phys.org/news/2017-11-trash-isla...ocean.html

EXCERPT: [...] "It's an environmental disaster," Omoa's deputy mayor, Leonardo Serrano, told AFP. Serrano blamed the garbage on neighboring Guatemala, claiming that communities dumped their refuse into a river and that it had gathered at sea to form floating islands.

Power, though, disputed that. "We also do not know where the garbage comes from," she said. "One of the main sources are rivers on the mainland of Honduras and Guatemala," she said. "But the rest could come from anywhere. It could come on currents from anywhere in Central America or the Caribbean. "Some of micro plastics have probably floating around for years."...

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#2
I always wonder about those water planets encased in miles of ice. I try to imagine intelligent life in the aqueous zone trying to figure out just wtf is going on. Possessing all the curiousity of Earthbound humans, but lacking in technology. I like to think of it all lit up like a Christmas tree with bioluminescence, so being able to see is their most important sense. Still I can't completely eliminate the Sun from the equation even though the planet's inhabitants will never see it. However I can't think what of anything the Sun may provide but surely some of its energy makes it to subterranean and submarine worlds.
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#3
(Nov 27, 2017 09:08 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: I always wonder about those water planets encased in miles of ice. I try to imagine intelligent life in the aqueous zone trying to figure out just wtf is going on. Possessing all the curiousity of Earthbound humans, but lacking in technology. I like to think of it all lit up like a Christmas tree with bioluminescence, so being able to see is their most important sense. Still I can't completely eliminate the Sun from the equation even though the planet's inhabitants will never see it. However I can't think what of anything the Sun may provide but surely some of its energy makes it to subterranean and submarine worlds.

faint photo synthesis feeding bio-chemical heat producing bacteria that feed large filter feeding aquatic mammals the size of office buildings with brains the size of cars.
which are soo intellectually advanced they actually control and create the dreams of humans like we might finger paint on a canvas idly on a lazy afternoon.


queue Douglas Adams Big Grin
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#4
(Nov 28, 2017 01:42 AM)RainbowUnicorn Wrote: faint photo synthesis feeding bio-chemical heat producing bacteria that feed large filter feeding aquatic mammals the size of office buildings with brains the size of cars.
which are soo intellectually advanced they actually control and create the dreams of humans like we might finger paint on a canvas idly on a lazy afternoon.


queue Douglas Adams Big Grin

ooooooh! I like that.
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