Mappers Look to Chart World's Ocean Floor by 2030
Using data collected from underwater drones, merchant ships, fishing boats and even explorers, a new scientific project aims to map the ocean floor by 2030 and solve one of the world’s enduring mysteries.With 190 million square km (73 million square miles) of water - or about 93 percent of the world's oceans with a depth of over 200 meters (650 feet) - yet to be charted, the initiative is ambitious.Satinder Bindra, director of the Seabed 2030 project, said the work can be completed within the period and will shed light on everything from tsunami wave patterns to pollution…
Autonomous Vessels: FAU Gets $1.25m for Research
Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science has been awarded a $1.25 million grant by the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR) to undertake research in support of autonomous unmanned marine vehicle platforms for coastal surveillance, coastal surveys, target tracking and protection of at-sea assets. The five-year project will entail developing unmanned surface vehicles that serve as “motherships” for unmanned underwater vehicles and aerial drones…
Ship Tech: U.S. Coast Guard R&D Center
The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) in New London, Connecticut, is the service's only command conducting research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) support for all 11 statutory missions. Since its commissioning in 1972, RDC has been involved in over 2,000 projects and initiatives that have significantly benefited the Coast Guard and the components of the Maritime Transportation System. As the demand for research and development capability grows within the service…
Icebreaker Returns from Antarctic Rescue
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker, is scheduled to return to Seattle after a 101-day Antarctic deployment Tuesday. Polar Star’s crew departed Seattle for Operation Deep Freeze 2015, the military resupply and logistical support mission for the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station. Coast Guardsmen aboard Polar Star escorted the cargo vessel Ocean Giant and fuel tanker Maersk Peary to McMurdo Station through ice ranging in thickness from 5 to 10 feet. These logistics allow scientific research to continue in the Antarctic.
The Big Melt in World Ocean Ice Record
Sea ice extent in both the northern and southern hemisphere was at record low levels for the month of January 2017. Last month set a record for the lowest sea-ice extent for the month, falling below the record set last year, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), a Colorado-based research outfit. Arctic sea ice this January averaged 5.17 million square miles, the lowest for the month in the 38-year sea ice record. "Greenhouse gases emitted through human activities…
West Antarctic Ice Sheet: How Stable is it?
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The result would be a rise in the global sea level by several metres. A collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may have occurred during the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago, a period when the polar surface temperature was around two degrees Celsius higher than today. This is the result of a series of model simulations which the researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute…
Murmansk Shipping to Assist U.S. NSF
Murmansk Shipping Company was selected among other operators of icebreaking fleet by U.S. National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation - NSF) which provides U.S. Antarctic Program. The ice-breaker Vladimir Ignatyuk successfully works in Antarctica, including under the contract with the Center of Ocean and Antarctic Research of the Indian Government at Maitri and Larsemann Hills stations. The ice-breaker Vladimir Ignatyuk will provide services for piloting vessels for American polar explorers in difficult navigational conditions of Southern continent…
First Steel Cut for Australia's New Polar Research Ship
Marking the commencement of construction of the Damen Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV), a steel cutting ceremony has been held at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania. Damen is constructing the ASRV for Serco Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco Australia who, in turn, signed a contract with the Australian Government last year for the delivery, operation and maintenance of the vessel. “Cutting the first steel for any vessel is always significant. However, the fact that the ASRV is such a ground-breaker makes this a very exciting moment,” said Damen Project Director Joop Noordijk.
Antarctic Treaty Meeting Urged to Step Up Climate Change Role
As the 2015 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) opens today in the Bulgarian capital, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) urged the ATCM to take action to promote the crucial importance of climate-related Antarctic research and its role in the Earth’s interconnected climate systems to the climate change community, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in the run up this year’s COP21 climate summit in Paris. ASOC is also calling on the ATCM…
Research Vessel Polarstern Returns to Bremerhaven
Antarctic season ends in the homeport after half a year Bremerhaven / Germany, 11 May 2016. on Wednesday, 11 May 2016, the research vessel Polarstern is expected back in its home port of Bremerhaven after a good six months of Antarctic expeditions. In the austral summer, the research vessel of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), penetrated into the southern Weddell Sea as far as the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, where oceanographic and biological work which the focus.
Paris Climate Summit - A Missed Opportunity
As the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) closed today in the Bulgarian capital, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) called the meeting’s adoption of a resolution on climate change a “missed opportunity” to have a meaningful impact in the run up to COP21 climate summit in Paris. The ATCM, the governing organization for the world’s seventh continent, agreed to a resolution encouraging national Antarctic scientific programmes to work with the international scientific community on the best ways to promote Antarctic climate change research in support COP21 objectives and to support national Antarctic programmes to carry out ambitious science to improve understanding of climate change impacts on the Antarctic environment and ecosystems.
Chilean Navy Aids Rescue Efforts
The Chilean Navy participated in a successful international operation rescuing a cruise liner's 100 passengers and 54 crew members after the boat crashed against an iceberg in the Antarctic Ocean. The 2,400-ton cruise liner M/S Explorer hit an iceberg early Friday near King George island in the Antarctic Ocean near a Chilean base and the Shetland del Sur islands. The cruise liner's captain and an official were the only one people to remain aboard until Friday morning, while the rest of the people remained all night in rafts floating in the cold waters. An emergency operation was carried out as soon as the accident occurred with the participation of military troops from Chile, Argentina, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Antarctic Research Ship Due Home
The SA Agulhas will soon return with the SANAE 49 over-wintering team that has just spent 14 months at SANAE IV, the South African research base in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The SA Agulhas is South Africa's polar research vessel. She has been in service for almost thirty years and is nearing the end of her term of service. The 6,122 gt Agulhas, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1977, is used to service the three SANAP research bases in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica as well as various research voyages. She spends most of her time out of harbour.
Keel Laid for Australia's New Antarctic Supply/Research Vessel
Construction of Australia's new Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) has taken an important step forward with an official keel laying ceremony carried out at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania. Damen is building the ASRV for Serco Defence on behalf of the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands is responsible for engineering and project management, and Damen Shipyards Galati will perform vessel construction and outfitting. The ice-breaking ASRV is a multi-mission vessel that has been designed to undertake a variety of roles.
Australian Icebreaker Assists Antarctic Research
Australian Antarctic icebreaker Aurora Australis has departed Casey research station to return to Australia. The ship weighed anchor to leave Casey at 1,600 hours (AEDST) carrying summer personnel, scientists and cargo for return to Australia. The 52 passengers rescued from the Akademik Shokalskiy, who have been well-cared for on board during resupply, are looking forward to the trip home. The journey to Hobart will take approximately seven to eight days and Aurora Australis is expected to arrive in Hobart on or about January 22, about 14 days later than originally scheduled.
Australian Navy Surveys Antarctica
The Royal Australian Navy’s Deployable Geospatial Survey Team returned from a six-week Antarctic expedition to collect essential data for navigational charts and scientific research. The team sailed from Hobart in RSV Aurora Australis on December 11, 2013 to conduct a hydrographic survey in the vicinity of Casey Station, a permanent base in Antarctica managed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). “We sailed the Wyatt Earp from Aurora Australis seven times in conditions of extreme cold to collect high quality data…
AOA Calls for Southern Ocean Conservation Commitments
The Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called on the 25 member countries gathering today for the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to finally agree on lasting and significant Southern Ocean protection. CCAMLR previously pledged to establish two marine protected areas by 2012, but, because of a lack of consensus, member states have failed to reach agreement on two major proposals on four separate occasions. The Southern Ocean is home to more than 10…
Australia’s New Icebreaker Unveiled
The Australian Government has provided the first look at Australia’s new icebreaker, a ship it says will offer scientists unprecedented and extended access to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Upon its commissioning, planned for October 2019, the custom-built ship will be home ported in Hobart, providing a modern platform for marine science research in both sea ice and open water and a moon pool for launching and retrieving remotely operated vehicles. A multi-beam bathymetric echo sounder will enable seafloor mapping…
Russian-buit Research Ship Antarctic Ready
Research ship 'Akademik Tryoshnikov' built by Admiralty Shipyards will be employed in the service of Russian Antarctic stations. The Akademik Tryoshnikov is the first research vessel in the last 20 years built by the Admiralty Shipyards to order by Roshydromet. It will be used to resume annual maintenance of the Bellingshausen Station in the Russian Antarctic, and to reopen the Russkaya Station, which was closed in 1989. This station is the only location in the world where researchers can monitor various natural processes occurring across the space of several thousand kilometers.
Loss of Diversity Near Melting Coastal Glaciers
Melting glaciers are causing a loss of species diversity among benthos in the coastal waters off the Antarctic Peninsula, impacting an entire seafloor ecosystem. This has been verified in the course of repeated research dives, the results of which were recently published by experts from Argentina, Germany and Great Britain and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in a study in the journal Science Advances. The scientists believe increased levels of suspended sediment in the water to be the cause of the dwindling biodiversity in the coastal region.
Wärtsilä Powers Polar Supply & Research Vessel
Wärtsilä has signed a contract with the STX Finland Oy shipyard in Rauma, Finland, to deliver four Wärtsilä 32 engines for a Polar Supply and Research Vessel. The owner of the vessel will be the Republic of South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs, and it will be operated by SMIT Amandla Marine, of South Africa. The vessel's crew will be trained at the Wärtsilä Land and Sea Academy in Turku, Finland. "This vessel order is one of the biggest single trade agreements ever between Finnish industry and South Africa, and we hope it will lead to additional business.
MAN Powers Antarctic Icebreaker
MAN Diesel & Turbo has been selected to supply the main engines to a new, icebreaking, supply-and-research vessel for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). The 2 × 16V32/44CR main engines – each producing 9,600 kW – were chosen for their highly reliable and fuel-efficient design that will serve in an environment with a demanding operational profile, including temperatures down to -30 degrees and extended mission times. The vessel is being procured by Serco Defence through DMS Maritime (prime contractor) and will be designed and built by Damen Shipyards Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS).
New UK Polar Research Ship Construction Funded
The British Government has earmarked more than £200 million for a new UK polar flagship that will be ready for its first science mission in 2019, according to news from the British Antarctic Survey. Owned by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), and operated by NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on behalf of the UK polar science community, this new state-of-the-art research ship will deliver the next generation of UK world-leading marine science in the Antarctic and the Arctic. “This an exciting time for UK polar science and I am delighted with this announcement.