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Seabird Poop Could Help Save Arctic Sea Ice

The guano reacts with other chemicals and can send the sun's rays back into space.

By Lindsey Pulse | November 20, 2016

Seabird poop could help save melting Arctic ice.

A team of atmospheric scientists noted a high concentration of ammonia in the air surrounding the Canadian Arctic during the summertime. Around that same time of year, millions of birds flock to the area to breed.

So the researchers decided to mimic the chemicals in bird guano and found ammonia from seabird poop can keep temperatures cooler in the Arctic.

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SEE MORE: Terns In Alaska Show The Effects Of Climate Change At Work

The magic happens when certain species of birds relieve themselves and their feces interact with sulfuric acid from seawater. 

The chemicals combine with water vapor and go into clouds that can shield Arctic ice from the sun and reflect the heat back into space.

This bird poop discovery is important because Arctic sea ice isn't doing so great right now. Earlier this year, sea ice hit its second lowest level ever recorded.

Unfortunately, the find isn't going to do much to combat the worldwide effects of climate change — but it might keep temps up north just slightly cooler.

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