KOMPAS.com – An unexpected discovery occurred at the depths of 4000 meters. A group of researchers studying the ecosystem of Clarion-Clipperton (CCFZ) Fracture Zone, in the Pacific Ocean between Mexico and Hawaii, found bacteria that could consume carbon dioxide (CO2).
Reporting from IFL ScienceOn Wednesday (11/21/2018), researchers analyzed sediment samples from the CCFZ area west of Mexico and found that sea bacteria in the region consumed large amounts of carbon dioxide.
"We found that marine bacteria absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and assimilate them into biomass through unknown processes. Biomass then has the potential to become a food source for other deep-sea biota," said Andrew Sweetman, a researcher from Heriot-Watt University, UK who led this study.
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He continued, bacteria in the region only need one to two days to consume organic waste that produces carbon dioxide. If measured in general, it corresponds to bacteria producing about 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in biomass each year.
Uniquely this condition occurs not only in the CCFZ region.
"This corresponds to removing about 10 percent of carbon dioxide each year, so this is an important part of the deep sea breeze. We found similar activities at several research sites separated by hundreds of kilometers, so we can assume that this happened at the CCFZ east and maybe throughout the CCFZ, Sweetman explained.
According to studies, published in the newspaper Limnology and Oceanography This is CCFZ an area currently being investigated for the development of nickel, copper and cobalt fracture. Andrew Sweetman and his team then conducted a survey to assess biodiversity in the CCFZ region and understand the effects of deep-sea breakdown.
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Start from NewsweekSweetman claims that all mining activities carried out in the ocean can damage the seabed for hundreds of kilometers. At the same time, CCFZ is home to deep-sea mushrooms, sea anemones, shrimps, octopods and other microbes, one of which consumes carbon dioxide.
"Therefore, deep-sea breakthroughs can have a significant impact on microbes that actively eliminate CO2. If large amounts of carbon dioxide are consumed annually by microbial communities in mining areas, mining can inadvertently affect important deep-sea ecosystem services," Sweetman explained.
Sweetman said that further research to understand the impact of mining on marine ecosystems must be carried out before mining begins.
"We need to explore this process in more detail. At present, we do not know where the energy for CO2 fixation originates and what bacteria are being repaired in their biomass. Once we know, we will be able to begin to explore available data on microbial diversity in the deep sea and assess where this process began, "concluded Sweetman.