Boaty McBoatface Submarine Set To Go On Its First Scientific Mission In Antarctica

Posted: Mar 14 2017, 5:17am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 14 2017, 5:30am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 

Boaty McBoatface Submarine Set for its First Scientific Mission in Antarctica
An artist’s impression of Boaty McBoatface submarine in the Antarctic. Credit: NERC/PA
 

The Uk's submarine will study the deepest waters of Southern Ocean in order to understand their impact on climate change

The yellow unmanned submarine named Boaty McBoatface is about to embark on its first scientific expedition. The sub will head off to Antarctica this week and study some of the deepest and coldest ocean waters on earth in order to understand how they affect climate change.

It’s exactly a year since a campaign was launched to name a new $248 million polar research ship of UK. A huge majority voted for the name Boaty McBoatface but the officials of British Research Council found the choice inappropriate and decided to name the ship RRS Sir David Attenborough after the famous British naturalist and broadcaster. However, they opted to use Boaty McBoatface for the drone sub, which is a part of fleet travelling to Antarctica for scientific purposes. 

Boaty McBoatface submarine will begin its expedition aboard British Antarctic Survey’s research ship James Clark Ross, leaving Chile on Friday 17 March. 

The ship will drop the sub into a narrow, 3,500m-deep gap that is the gateway into the Antarctic's bottom water. Submarine will travel back and forth along the underwater ridge known as Orkney Passage and measure the intensity of flow in the deep water of Southern Ocean by using a combination of specialized instruments deployed from a vessel. 

“The Orkney Passage is a key chokepoint to the flow of abyssal waters in which we expect the mechanism linking changing winds to abyssal water warming to operate. We will measure how fast the streams flow, how turbulent they are, and how they respond to changes in winds over the Southern Ocean,” said Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato from the University of Southampton, the lead scientist of the research cruise.

“Our goal is to learn enough about these convoluted processes to represent them (for the first time) in the models that scientists use to predict how our climate will evolve over the 21st century and beyond.”

The abyssal depths of oceans across the globe have been warming steadily over the last few decades. Understanding their role in climate change will help researchers better prepare for the future extreme conditions. 

 

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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