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A world-wide mission to study the melting of glaciers

What else besides water do we lose as glaciers vanish? That’s the question a team of scientists led by EPFL will set out to answer by exploring and studying the world’s most prominent mountain glaciers. By collecting microorganisms from hundreds of glacier-fed streams and analyzing their genomes, the scientists hope to understand, before it disappears, how this microbial life has adapted to the extreme conditions it is exposed to and how it is changing as the world’s mountain glaciers melt. The three-year project, called “Vanishing Glaciers” and supported by the NOMIS Foundation, is lead from Switzerland by the Stream Biofilm and Ecosystem Research Laboratory (SBER) In 2019, the scientific team explored glaciers from New Zealand, Caucasus and Greenland.