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Into thin ice

Into thin ice

Bow lights show the way as the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy streaks through slim pancake ice in the nighttime Bering Sea. After long, dark winters, sunlight returns to the sea in spring, relaunching a bountiful food chain that goes from algae up to seals, walruses, whales, and polar bears. WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian led a team of scientists on a research cruise in April 2009 to learn how this complex ecosystem works and how climate change might disrupt it. In 2011, Ashjian will return to the Bering Sea to lead a six-week cruise to study the Arctic ecosystem during the frigid, dark winter. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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