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Ice blooms

Push to Plankton

To get through heavy ice cover, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy sometimes has to back up, get a running start, and ram its way forward. During an ongoing cruise aboard Healy, a group of scientists led by WHOI physical oceanographer Bob Pickart trying to get north in the Chukchi Sea to investigate a hypothesis that phytoplankton bloooms under sea ice are changing due to a thinning and depleted ice cover. To do so, however, they need to bypass the ice edge and get into heavy ice before the season's blooms begin. (Photo by Amanda Kowalski, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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