Boaty McBoatface And The Thwaites Glacier

As we all know, climate change is becoming a growing issue around the world. With increasing temperatures across the Polar Regions, the melting glaciers are becoming a real issue for coastal towns and cities. With the recent discovery of the Thwaites Glacier, scientists from the UK and US have created the largest project since the mapping of the artic in the 1940s.

Situated on the western side of Antarctica, Thwaites Glacier has been monitored closely by NASA’s Ice Bridge campaign, during which scientists discovered how vulnerable this glacier has been within recent times. A study from the University of Washington revealed that the glacier will gradually melt, leading to an irreversible state over the next 200 to 1000 years.

By NASA ICE (A close look at the shelf) [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This five-year, £20m expedition will place RSS David Attenborough and fan-favourite submarine Boaty McBoatface into the depths of Antarctica where lengthy research will take place. The scientists are hoping to relieve fears of fast rising sea levels and discover the impact that the glacier will have on cities such as Shanghai and Miami. Researchers from other countries, including Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany and South Korea, will also contribute and the result will be published globally.

Over recent years, scientists have been coming up with new ways to tackle the rise in sea levels. Many geoengineering ideas, such as building underwater walls and targeting high leverage points, have been considered but nothing seems cost effective. Recent satellite imagery has shown that Arctic areas are melting faster than we may have thought and see levels could rise up to one and a half metres by the end of the century. The first extensive mission for Boaty McBoatface and its team will hope to allay these concerns.

If you would like to see some of these delicate remote areas for yourself, we have some great Arctic and Antarctic cruises available. Call us today on 0808 231 4814 to find your perfect adventure.

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