The Noosphere icebreaker left the port of Odessa for its first passage to Antarctica.
As the Director of the National Antarctic Research Center Yevhen Dykyi said during a press conference in Odesa, the date, January 28, was chosen not by chance – it is believed that Antarctica was discovered on this day.
According to Mr. Dykyi, the Noosphere is a specialized oceanographic research vessel capable of providing scientific work at depths of up to 8 kilometers. This means that almost the whole global ocean is accessible to her. The Noosphere can take up to 50 scientists on board at a time.
The crew of the icebreaker consists of 26 people – both Ukrainian and foreign specialists, in particular, those who previously worked for the British Antarctic Service.
Scientists who will conduct research along the entire Noosphere route are also on board the vessel.
Firstly, the vessel has a long way to go to Punta Arenas (Republic of Chile). A second group of scientists exploring the Southern Ocean and the team of the 27th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition, which will substitute the actual winterers at the Academician Vernadsky station, will come on board there. Then the path will lie through the Drake Strait. Various cargoes will be delivered to our station: from an annual supply of provisions to construction materials and equipment, because this time, thanks to the icebreaker, much more cargo can be taken.
After unloading the vessel, oceanographic research will continue. It is planned to study currents, changes in salinity and temperature of water masses. It is in this part of the world that the fastest rate of global warming is recorded, so it is important to understand exactly how this happens. Biological research will continue. Monitoring of whale migration will continue too.
The content of global pollutants in bottom sediments, in particular mercury, will be studied. Sampling of bottom sediments from the deep South Ocean and the Argentine Islands is planned in order to establish sedimentation patterns in the area that has been in contact with Antarctica for the last millions of years and has preserved evidence of intensity of increase and decrease in the size of the ice cover of Antarctica, dynamics and frequency of iceberg formation.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the ocean passage will open new opportunities for measuring direction of powerful lightning, because the vessel on its way to Antarctica will pass across the principal centers of world thunder-storm formation – African and South American centers. Thanks to the supersensitive magnetometer, scientists will monitor thunderstorms not only from Antarctica, but also directly in tropical latitudes.
During the press conference, the Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration Serhiy Hrynevetsky presented the captain of the research icebreaker Pavlo Panasyuk with a towel with unique Antarctic embroidery – with penguins, whales and cormorants, and in the center – the logo of the Academician Vernadsky station with two palm trees and sun.
This pattern was created by the NASC especially for Ukrainian polar explorers.