Energy & Environment

Boaty McBoatface makes key climate change discovery in maiden mission

Boaty McBoatface, the submarine named by an online poll, made a major climate discovery during its maiden voyage in Antarctica.

The data collection research, which took place in April 2017, found a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures.

{mosads}The analysis of the data from the autonomous submarine was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, a multidisciplinary journal.

Boaty McBoatface collected temperature, saltiness and water turbulence data at the bottom of the Southern Ocean over a three day period.

“The data from Boaty McBoatface gave us a completely new way of looking at the deep ocean – the path taken by Boaty created a spatial view of the turbulence near the seafloor,” said Dr. Eleanor Frajka-Williams of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England.

The data will help experts to better predict how climate change will impact sea level rise.

“This study is a great example of how exciting new technology such as the unmanned submarine ‘Boaty McBoatface’ can be used along with ship-based measurements and cutting-edge ocean models to discover and explain previously unknown processes affecting heat transport within the ocean,” said Dr. Povl Abrahamsen of the British Antarctic Survey in in Cambridge, England.

The British public voted more than 124,000 times in 2016 to name a new nearly $300 million state-of-the-art research ship RRS Boaty McBoatface.

The UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills rejected the result, choosing instead to name the vessel “RRS Sir David Attenborough,” after the British naturalist and broadcaster.

The name Boaty McBoatface was given to the submarine instead.


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