Rejoice! Boaty McBoatface Is Taking a Work Trip to Antarctica

  • Rejoice! Boaty McBoatface Is Taking a Work Trip to Antarctica

Rejoice! Boaty McBoatface Is Taking a Work Trip to Antarctica

Like many heroes, Boaty McBoatface's story was borne out of tragedy. The remote-controlled underwater research submarine that captivated the world past year is making its first ever trip this week to Antarctica to capture climate change data - and also our hearts.

The minisub got its name after the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) asked members of the public to decide what to call a new polar research ship.

The ship will go through a series of trials to make sure it's seaworthy and that its scientific equipment is working properly before heading out on its first mission in 2019.

The supremely silly name "Boaty McBoatface" ran away with the vote, but cooler minds made a decision to name the vessel "RRS Sir David Attenborough" after the popular naturalist and television presenter.

Boaty McBoatface is going into action.

Instead, the Boaty name was bestowed on a trio of unmanned submarines as a sort of consolation prize for the public.

Boaty will map the movement of deep waters that play a critical role in regulating Earth's climate in the narrow, jagged, 11,000 feet-deep gap in an underwater ridge that extends northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, known as the Orkney Passage.

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

"The one that will initiate the "adventures of Boaty" will head out of Punta Arenas, Chile, on Friday aboard Britain's current polar ship, the RRS James Clark Ross".

Today, scientists suspect that more heat is getting mixed into AABW from shallower, warmer ocean layers. Ultimately, the researchers would like to create models to help them predict how our climate will change during the 21st century and beyond.

The U.K.'s National Oceanography Centre has designed a cartoon version of Boaty McBoatface to help teach children about marine research.