Climate Research Vessel Sails Into London

A new British research ship, named for British broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, has arrived in London to call attention to climate change ahead of next week’s Glasgow climate summit.

The 129-meter RSS Sir David Attenborough has completed sea trials and is ready for service. It sailed up the Thames River on Wednesday to be part of a three-day public celebration hosted by the British Antarctic Survey to raise awareness of the importance and relevance of polar science and why it matters to everyday life.

In a launch event on the ship Thursday, Attenborough, known for his documentaries on nature and the planet, reminded people of the dangers caused by climate change and called for action from delegates attending the summit next week in Glasgow.

Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by the British Antarctic Survey, the new research platform will transform how U.K. teams conduct ship-borne science in polar regions.

The vessel enjoys a bit of infamy as well. As it was being built in 2016, NERC decided to open the naming of the ship to the public through an internet vote. The winning name was Boaty McBoatface.

The vote was overruled in favor of naming it for Attenborough, but an unmanned research submarine carried on the ship bears the name Boaty McBoatface, out of respect for the popular vote.

The ship will embark on its first Antarctic mission later this year. It has a crew of about 30 and can accommodate up to 60 scientists.

Source: Voice of America

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