Question of the reader - the answer of a scientist
What kind of research in Antarctica is the most difficult or even impossible to conduct?
In general, research in Antarctica is difficult. I will give you an example of the work of oceanologists - scientists who study the ocean.

Offshore work in the Southern Ocean is difficult to carry out because the research vessel is constantly distracted by other tasks - you need to supply the coastal stations with fuel, deliver people and cargo by helicopter. And the sea work itself is very long: when the oceanographic probe is lowered at one point, it goes to the depth for an hour, and it is raised for an hour. At great depths, it can take two hours there, and three hours back. When the probe is lifted, the researchers move to the next point and repeat the same operations there. And at the same time, you also need to make sure that the ship is at the same point, so that the wave does not swing the probe, so that the cable does not deviate and so that it does not get jammed by ice.

The dream of oceanographers working in Antarctica is that measurements can be taken all year round. But in winter, it is impossible to carry out the same high-quality observations over the ocean as in summer due to climatic and logistic features.

The problem could be solved by a device that would autonomously measure the required values, surface, transmit data and submerge again. Similar instruments exist, but they have their drawbacks - either they are not as accurate as we would like, or they cover a small range of depths, moreover, they are not always suitable for working in ice.

But when ships cannot operate in the Southern Ocean, seals come into play.

Ten years ago, scientists from polar stations figured out how to attract seals living in Antarctica to research - they can dive to a depth of more than 500 meters and spend up to an hour under water. Scientists have attached sensors to the foreheads of some seals that measure the temperature of the water, its salinity and depth. When the seal dives, the device records the data, and when the seal returns and goes to lie on the ice floe, the device communicates with the satellite and transmits the recorded data.

This is very helpful to science - when they did the first experiment with seals, the researchers for the first time received a large amount of data for the winter.

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