Antarctica News

The RRS Sir David Attenborough, Britain’s new polar research vessel: the naming ceremony for the ship will be held at shipbuilder Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead, England on September 26.

(Photo: British Antarctic Survey)

Polar RV Sir David Attenborough Naming Ceremony

and operated by the British Antarctic Survey. This vessel is designed to transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the Polar Regions and its commissioning is part of a major UK Government polar infrastructure investment program aiming to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic. The £200 million investment represents the UK Government’s largest investment in polar science since the 1980s

Image Courtesy: National Oceanography Centre (UK)

MTR100: National Oceanography Centre (UK)

capture and storage. Technology development with industry has seen innovative, low cost EcoSUB vehicles expand their networking capabilities, in partnership with Planet Ocean and the University of Newcastle. The NOC’s Autosub Long Range (ALR) successfully completed its first under ice mission in Antarctica. Another ALR project – P3NAV collaborating with Sonardyne and L3 ASV – has delivered advanced positioning capabilities without the need for surface vehicles.Image courtesy: National Oceanography Center (NOC)The NOC is at the forefront of global marine technology development, with a

Photo: David Vargas/Lindblad Expeditions

MTR100: #3 Sven Lindblad, Lindblad Expeditions

#3 in the 14th Annual "MTR100". The full  electronic edition of Marine Technology Reporter is available at https://magazines.marinelink.com/nwm/MarineTechnology/201907/.Intrepid explorer and wildlife photographer Sven Lindblad blazed the trail for environmentally sensitive travelers to Antarctica on Lindblad Expedition’s fleet of cruise ships with National Geographic.You can tell a lot about a man by whom his heroes are, whether famous athletes, virtuoso musicians, brave warriors or movie stars. As we age, we choose our heroes by their moral compass, seeking wisdom, inspiration and

 From the top of the wing to the bottom of the keel, saildrones are loaded with science sensors. Pic: Saildrone

World First: Saildrone Circumnavigates Antarctica

A seven-meter (23-foot) long, wind-powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) called a saildrone has become the first unmanned system to circumnavigate Antarctica.The vehicle, known as SD 1020, was equipped with a suite of climate-grade sensors and collected data in previously unchartered waters, enabling new key insights into ocean and climate processes.The 196-day mission was launched from Southport in Bluff, New Zealand, on January 19, 2019, returning to the same port on August 3 after sailing over 22,000 km (13,670 miles) around Antarctica. During the mission, the vehicle survived freezing temperatures

Photo Credit: National Oceanography Centre

#Oi2020 History

In June 2010, it was announced by the National Oceanography Centre that its robot submarine-- Autosub3--was instrumental in the Centre’s study on the reasons behind the steady thinning of a vast glacier in Western Antarctica over recent decades. The now-retired robot submarine was deployed deep beneath a floating ice shelf by scientists investigating the thinning and acceleration of Pine Island Glacier. The study was led by Dr. Adrian Jenkins of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and also involved scientists from NOC in Southampton and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) in the US.

Weddell Sea polynya, initally 3,700 square miles, 2017. False color NASA satellite image shows ice in blue, clouds in white. (Photo: Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Robotic Data Help Explain Mysterious Holes

The winter ice on the surface of Antarctica's Weddell Sea occasionally develops an enormous hole. In 2016 and 2017, one such hole drew intense curiosity from scientists and the media.Though bigger gaps had formed decades before, this was the first time oceanographers had a chance to truly monitor the unexpected gap in Antarctic winter sea ice. It was an opportunity that came about as a result of uncanny timing and a seasoned oceanographer’s knowledge of the sea.A new study co-authored by researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego combines

GEOTRACES carousel deployment showing Cortland cable. Image: Cortland

Case Study: Cables in Underwater Missions

the custom cable for dozens of missions, in regions as diverse as the Arctic to the tropical waters of Polynesia. It has proven ideal for the expeditions, carried out every two years since 2008. It is set to be deployed again in 2021. Near identical cables are now in use in China, Germany, India and Antarctica.We’ve learned through experience that cables used in dynamic subsea environments have to be custom designed and built for the specific harsh environments our customers encounter. The properties of synthetic strength members and outer jackets can make the difference to scientific expeditions

© Ivan Kurmyshov / Adobe Stock

The Oceans Are Warming Faster than Expected

Reuters.Among effects, extra warmth can reduce oxygen in the oceans and damages coral reefs that are nurseries for fish, the scientists said. Warmer seas release more moisture that can stoke more powerful storms.Warmer ocean water also raises sea levels by melting ice, including around the edges of Antarctica and Greenland.(Reporting By Alister Doyle; editing by John Stonestreet

Figure 1: Sea ice extent for January 1, 2019 (Photo: NSIDC)

A Record-Low Start to Ice the New Year in Antarctica

, which began during the austral spring of 2016, contradicts prior characterizations of Antarctic sea ice cover as slowly expanding, yet highly variable. Instead, another strong decline through late December 2018 has taken the extent below the November and December 2016 levels to new record lows. Antarctica’s high year-to-year variability (record high extents for December were observed as recently as 2014 and 2007) suggests that a conclusive sea ice trend associated with the warming air and ocean around Antarctica has yet to reveal itself.Spatial patterns of lossThe rapid ice loss through December

The frame and instruments as they were when they washed up. Photo: NOC

Lost @ Sea: Missing Equipment Washes Up Five Years Later

Center (NOC) has just been found on a beach in Tasmania by a local resident after making a 14,000 km journey across the ocean.In 2011, this deep-ocean lander instrument was deployed by NOC scientists in the northern Drake Passage, which is a narrow section of the ocean between South America and Antarctica. Measuring ocean bottom pressure here helps provide information on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which is the largest ocean current in the world. The instrument was due to spend two years collecting data at a depth of 1100 metres, before being recovered on Christmas Day in 2013 by a research

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