Scottish scientists join Antarctic trip to study ‘apocalyptic glacier’ with yellow submarine Boaty McBoatface


The 65-day trip will study the atmospheric and oceanic conditions around the gigantic Thwaites Glacier – one of the largest in Antarctica, spanning 74,000 square miles.

Experts have warned that recent dramatic changes to the glacier could have a catastrophic effect on global sea level, increasing the height to 65cm.

Register to our daily newsletter

Newsletter cut through the noise

The trip, aboard the icebreaker Nathaniel B Palmer, is part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC, a five-year project jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom and the National Science Foundation of the United States United.

A team of international scientists set sail for Antarctica to study the behavior of the huge Thwaites Glacier, which is melting faster than ever due to climate change and could cause sea level to rise dramatically in the near future. . Photo: Jim Yungel / NASA

The team, led by academics from the University of East Anglia (UEA), will conduct a wide range of studies around the Thwaites Ice Shelf to gain new insight into the behavior of the glacier.

The infamous Boaty McBoatface and a fleet of other robotic submarines will be deployed to perform pioneering underwater studies under the ice.

Dr Rob Hall, UEA, is the chief scientist in charge of the trip.

“It’s very exciting, but also intimidating, to lead this campaign to take critical ocean measurements under and around this vulnerable ice shelf,” he said.

Boaty McBoatface is part of a fleet of robotic submarines deployed to Antarctica to conduct innovative underwater surveys around the Thwaites Glacier and pack ice. Photo: Vickie Flores / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

“The team has completed a month of quarantine to make sure everyone is safe, and now we can’t wait to put our wide range of scientific instruments in the water to see what we learn about how. the ocean melts the pack ice from below.

“We are already carefully monitoring the extent of the pack ice to find the best way to access the area, because even this powerful icebreaker cannot cross deep pack ice. “

Read more

Read more

COP26: Scientists who spent a year drifting on arctic ice floes, enduring …

The National Oceanographic Center (NOC) provides innovative technology as part of the ITGC’s TARSAN project.

Dr Alex Phillips of NOC said: “Our science and engineering teams have made tremendous strides in pushing the boundaries of how we explore the world’s oceans with underwater technology. join the extended ITGC team with Boaty McBoatface, who will travel further below the Thwaites Glacier than ever before. “

Along with the robot teams, scientists from the University of St Andrews will tag the seals to collect data on ocean temperature and salinity around the pack ice over the next nine months of the Antarctic winter.

At the same time, researchers working in the ITGC’s THOR and ARTEMIS projects will collect sediment cores, conduct seabed surveys and measure the chemical properties of seawater.

Thwaites already deposits 50 billion tonnes of ice in the ocean each year, which is about 4% of the world’s current sea level rise.

But there is concern that a section of floating ice in the front of the glacier, which was previously relatively stable, could “shatter like a car windshield” in the very near future – perhaps within five. to the next ten years.

The team departed from Punta Arenas in Chile on January 6 – the 100th anniversary of the death of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We depend on your support more than ever, as the change in consumption habits caused by the coronavirus is having an impact on our advertisers.

If you haven’t already, consider supporting our trusted and verified journalism by purchasing a digital subscription.


Source link

Previous Kate Middleton's key ability that Meghan Markle, Diana and Fergie lacked was crucial for the royal family | Royal | News
Next Australian scientists join outcry over social sciences and humanities research veto