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Diving deep for answers to the climate crisis

  • from Shaastra :: vol 02 issue 06 :: Nov - Dec 2023
Antje Boetius on her most recent Arctic expedition.

Marine biologist Antje Boetius on changes in the Arctic ice cover and its relationship with life.

Climate scientists are typically prone to gloom-and-doom tidings, but marine biologist Antje Boetius sees a silver lining to the dark clouds of despair. Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, in Germany, Boetius was the first to prove the existence of microbial communities consisting of bacteria that consume the greenhouse gas methane in absence of oxygen, in a process known as anaerobic oxidation of methane. Just back from her latest Arctic expedition, Boetius spoke to Shaastra about the changes in sea ice, climate change and why – even amid grim news – she sees reason to hope. Excerpts:


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