Ocean Warrior Begins Arctic Science Expedition
Ocean Warrior has begun the first 10-day leg of its Arctic expedition, departing Svalbard on September 1, with a subsequent departure on September 11. The 18-member team of crew, scientists and citizen scientists are tasked initially with building an understanding of the vessel and its capabilities to maximize the potential for scientific data capture. The expedition aims to install and test scientific and technological equipment, such as weather stations, FerryBox, CTD, bathymetry, communications and safety. Additionally, an online dashboard will be created to convey the findings and capture stories through digital and broadcast content.
Ocean Warrior, Europe’s largest wooden schooner, is the brainchild of explorer Jim McNeill, who has been running scientific expeditions to the Arctic for over two decades and has consulted for natural history programs such as the BBC’s “Frozen Planet.”
Designed to collect critical scientific measurements from remote areas of the Arctic Ocean in order to build up an improved picture of the changes taking place due to climate change and other factors, Ocean Warrior will also help to groundtruth data collected via satellites.
The project is being supported by Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Valeport, Mole Energy, Dartmoor Brewery and Henri Lloyd. Traveling to seldom-visited areas of the ocean each year between June and October, Ocean Warrior intends to cover 10,000 nautical mi. annually over the next 10 years, collecting data on a range of key indicators in water quality, plankton, eDNA, salinity and ocean acidity. This will help scientists gain a clearer understanding of the pace of changes taking place, their impacts on marine ecosystems, and what the future may hold for the Arctic region and the wildlife, populations and economies that depend upon it.