22.8 C
Brunei
Friday, December 9, 2022
22.8 C
Brunei
Friday, December 9, 2022
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    UK polar research ship to make 2nd voyage to Antarctica

    LONDON (AP) – Britain’s polar research ship is preparing for its second voyage to Antarctica to investigate sea level rises and threats to marine biodiversity.

    Director of British Antarctic Survey Jane Francis, which operates the ship named after naturalist David Attenborough, said on Tuesday that scientists will study the melting of the west Antarctic ice sheet, how it impacts global sea level rise and when “the Earth goes into irreversible change”.

    “If that ice sheet does melt, it holds about three to five metres of global sea level rise, so what happens in Antarctica won’t just stay in Antarctica, it will affect us all,” Francis said.

    The RRS Sir David Attenborough, billed as one of the world’s most advanced polar research vessels, completed its maiden voyage in November 2021. It is scheduled to set sail again on Sunday, from Harwich port, in eastern England, carrying around 45 crew members and scientists.

    Plans call for the ship to reach Rothera Research Station, on the Antarctic Peninsula, by Christmas and to spend about six months in Antarctica. Along with delivering food, equipment and fuel to the British Antarctic Survey’s research stations, the mission calls for carrying out trials of polar science equipment and collecting data to understand how climate change is affecting the region and beyond.

    “We need to understand what the water is doing, we need to understand how the air is warming, and we need to understand how the ice is reacting to all of those different factors,” a marine geophysicist for the British Antarctic Survey Kelly Hogan told reporters during a tour of the vessel on Tuesday.

    “To do that, we need to measure lots of different parts of the system to get the big picture.”

    A general view of the British Antarctic Survey Ship Sir David Attenborough on the berth in Harwich, England. PHOTO: AP
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