SWES-MEL

(Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences-Microbial Ecology Laboratory)

A poem about our sub-Arctic research

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Methanogens

Methanogens are very small–

understanding them ain’t so banal.

Their customary dwelling place

is deep within the anaerobic space.

Typically occurring in reduced anoxic environments,

they’re also found in subglacial sediments.

The greenhouse gases they can release

keeps us scientists at unease.

And so many sanguine people hope

to study them in full scope,

in order to build scientific models

that can prevent global debacles.

At the Rich lab we collect peat,

to understand all the heat

contributing to the thaw gradient

at which the permafrost is ambient.

Widely distributed are these methanogens,

they’re also found in Spitsbergen.

High up in the Arctic,

or way down in the Antarctic,

Methanogens are of high importance–

they play a role in the Earth’s disturbance.

There are many reasons to study permafrost,

one of them being the economic costs.

So let’s quantify soil-atmosphere gas exchange

to further assess this climate change!

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