Boaty McBoatface set for first scientific mission

Boaty will be collecting the bulk of its data on the Orkney Passage, a submerged valley over 2 miles below the Antarctic, as part of the Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) project to assess how the ocean is responding to climate change.

The public voted overwhelmingly to name the ship "Boaty McBoatface".

The British National Environment Research Council (NERC) sought the world's help last March in naming its brand new $290 million scientific research vessel. To assist them, the scientists will use an autonomous submarine that was famously named Boaty McBoatface by the collective genius of the internet.

Clearly horrified at the thought of having to give its lovely new vessel such a daft name, the NERC reminded everyone that it would have the final say.

But as a nod to the democratic process they allowed silliness to prevail by preserving the name for a remotely operated submersible.

Lead scientist Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato, from the University of Southampton, said: "The Orkney Passage is a key choke-point to the flow of abyssal waters in which we expect the mechanism linking changing winds to abyssal water warming to operate".




Recently, scientists have suspected that changing winds over the Southern Ocean are affecting the speed of seafloor currents carrying AABW - and that could be affecting the amount of turbulent flow in the Orkney Passage.

Antarctic Bottom Water is cold and dense, and its movement contributes to ocean circulation worldwide, the BAS writes.

'Boaty McBoatface, ' so-called because of an online poll conducted a year ago, is about to embark on its maiden voyage to Antarctica and the internet isn't quite sure what to make of it.

A future mission for Boaty will be to attempt the first-ever under ice crossing of the Arctic Ocean.

The U.K.'s National Oceanography Centre has designed a cartoon version of Boaty McBoatface to help teach children about marine research. A full-sized inflatable will travel to events across the country.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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