16:50 GMT24 January 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL
    0 71

    A yellow submarine dubbed Boaty McBoatface has obtained "unprecedented data" from its first voyage, exploring one of the deepest and coldest ocean regions on Earth, scientists have said.

    The robotic submersible was given the name originally chosen for a new polar research ship by contestants in a 2016 online opinion poll.

    Officials however, ignored the popular vote and instead named the vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough in honor of the veteran broadcaster.

    A storm of protest on Twitter led to a compromise that allowed the Boaty McBoatface name to live on — as a yellow submarine.

    Boaty McBoatface
    © Photo : National Oceanography Centre
    Boaty McBoatface

    McBoatface dived to depths of up to 4,000 meters to obtain information on temperatures, water flow speed and turbulence from Orkney Passage, a region of the Southern Ocean, some 500 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Scientists hope that the data will help them better understand the complex way mixing ocean waters affect climate change.

    Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato from the University of Southampton, England, said Orkney Passage is a key region and the data collected around this area is crucial for understanding the Southern Ocean.

    "The Orkney Passage is a key chokepoint to the flow of abyssal waters in which we expect the mechanism linking changing winds to abyssal water warming to operate," Professor Garabato said.

    "Our goal is to learn enough about these convoluted processes to represent them in the models that scientists use to predict how our climate will evolve over the 21st century and beyond," he added.

    Professor Garabato said that the team has been able to collect massive amounts of data that they never would have been able to capture before due to the way Boaty McBoatface is able to move underwater.

    "Up until now we have only been able to take measurements from a fixed point, but now, we are able to obtain a much more detailed picture of what is happening in this very important underwater landscape," Professor Garabato said.

    The submersible was launched from the RRS James Clark Ross as part of the seven week DynOPO (Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow) expedition.

    "Fresh from its maiden voyage, Boaty is already delivering new insight into some of the coldest ocean waters on earth, giving scientists a greater understanding of changes in the Antarctic region and shaping a global effort to tackle climate change," Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said.


    Boaty McBoatFace Strikes Back as a Yellow Submarine
    UK Ship Will Not Be Named 'Boaty McBoatface' Despite Massive Public Support
    Petition to Name UK Ship: Spanish Trolls Suggest Admiral Who Killed Brits
    Boaty McBoatFace, Diabeetus, Death Star: Online Polls, Names and Petitions
    exploration, Boaty McBoatface, research vessel, submarine, science, environment, climate change, Orkney Passage, Southampton, Southern Ocean, United Kingdom, Antarctic
    Community standardsDiscussion