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Get Involved! Participate in a Study of the Oceans

An in-depth study of the polar sea waters is crucial to understanding the mechanisms of climate change: the exchanges of heat and CO2 between the atmosphere and the ocean, the CO2 sequestration in the ocean, the concentration levels of chlorophyll or salinity, for example. "Exploring these waters under the ice is a new challenge for oceanographic research!" says Hervé Claustre, a researcher at the Oceanology Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer (OOV, co-supervised by UPMC/CNRS) has set up an array of undersea robots called “profiling floats” to observe the navigable oceans, and is now taking on the frozen seas.


"The Oceanology Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer team, in collaboration with a French company, was able to develop floats that can detect the presence of ice and adapt to arctic conditions. "They can stay submerged for several months. They will collect data and automatically transmit it back to us when the seasonal thaw will allow the floats to rise to the surface," said Jean-Baptiste Sallée, researcher at the Laboratory of Oceanography and Climate, also involved in this project.


"Today, the challenge is to build a network of floats in the frozen waters of the Southern Ocean. "This is where we come in," says Melina Mercier, director of the UPMC Foundation. "Climate change is everyone's business, so with the support of BNP Paribas Foundation, we offer the general public the opportunity to be actively involved in this project via crowdfunding. By calling on our network of donors, alumni and companies, we intend to ensure the success of the operation."

"This is the first time this type of fundraising campaign has been launched by French oceanographers. This way, everyone can make a contribution!" says Carolyn Scheurle, scientific mediator to OOV. "Because of the support from contributors, unique observations in a very difficult environment, which is almost inaccessible by boat, become possible. Also for the first time, the data will all be communicated in real time. This information is not only scientifically important, but also raises the awareness of the role of the Southern Ocean in the dynamics of climate change," she says.


The campaign, launched on October 15, 2015, will end on December 18. "Our goal is to collect at least 20,000 euros," says Hervé Claustre. "This is the minimum amount to buy the first float for the Southern network, and to receive and disseminate the first results.".


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