‘Boaty McBoatface’ Made An, Uh, Alarming Climate Change Discovery On Its Maiden Voyage

News & Culture Writer
06.18.19

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Who can forget Boaty McBoatface, the viral sensation of early 2016 before everything was bad and the internet was still fun, when Great Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) opened up the naming of a £200 million polar research vessel to public. Despite the 125,000 and some votes for Boaty, the organization instead decided to go with the “RRS Sir David Attenborough,” named for the renowned natural historian — however allowed the vessel’s undersea sample-gathering submarine to be called Boaty McBoatface as a consolation prize.

The vessel was set to sail the waters of Antarctica and the Arctic in 2019, and has now successfully returned from its inaugural mission. And Boaty’s findings, published in a PNAS journal on Monday, have revealed that “increasingly strong winds in the region are causing turbulence deep within the sea, and as a result mixing warm water from middle levels with colder water in the abyss.”

So what does this mean, in layman’s terms?

That process is causing the sea temperature to rise, which in turn is a significant contributor to rising sea levels, scientists behind the project said.

Antarctic winds are growing in strength due to the thinning of the ozone layer and the build-up of greenhouse gases, but their impact on the ocean has never been factored in to climate models.

Gulp!

Ironically enough, Boaty McBoatface is pictured above with Conservative Party Prime Minister candidate Boris Johnson (also known as “Britian’s Donald Trump“) who oversaw “devastating” cuts to combat climate change when he served as a foreign secretary.

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