If you’ve been on the Internet lately, you’ve probably heard of Boaty McBoatface. The British research vessel, named via online poll, has been busy collecting data in Antarctica. Here are three key climate change findings discovered by this famous submarine:
1. There is a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica and it’s affecting wind speeds.
The hole has caused strengthened winds over the Southern Ocean, and these stronger winds at the surface impact ocean activity beneath the waves. Scientists have found that these winds contribute to stronger currents, and thus more turbulence is occurring in the ocean depths.
2. Deepwater turbulence leads to more mixing of cold and warm water across large swaths of sea.
Colder, deeper water is mixing with warmer, shallower water. Why does this matter? Water expands as it warms, and thus it takes up more space, resulting in higher sea levels. More mixing of warm and cold water means we can expect overall sea temperatures to rise. Warm water contributes greatly to sea level rise.
3. It’s all in the name.
Boaty McBoatface’s discoveries have been shared across the world, simply because of his endearing, comical name. To spread the word on climate change and the accountability measures needed, we should learn from Boaty and use fun, interactive messaging to engage worldwide audiences.
The discoveries Boaty has made will expand our scientific knowledge for the next century. Thanks to the submarine’s Internet fame, generations to come will learn more about how climate change will affect our planet and our lives. Who would have thought we could learn so much from a boat named “Boaty McBoatface.”