Tara Polar Station is an incredible French-funded polar station

The Tara Ocean Foundation has just introduced a boat specifically designed to monitor the movement of ice and study the effects of global warming at the North Pole. This large-scale project, which is mainly funded by the state, is important for French research in the Arctic, especially in the strategic region.

“The mission will last 7 months without a break in the polar night”

There is a crazy project. The Tara Ocean Foundation has just unveiled plans for its new boat. Drifting polar station, which will be trapped in the Arctic ice, the first mission of which is scheduled for 2025. The Tara polar station is difficult to describe. It is a boat that looks more like a ship or a flying saucer. Oval in shape thanks to the aluminum hull, it is 26 m long and 14 m wide. Romain Truble, director of the Tara Foundation, explains the mission of this ice ship: “This boat has to drift in the ice at the North Pole several times. It will monitor the movement of ice in the Arctic, which drifts an average of 10 km per day.. There will be 12 people on board this boat in winter and 20 in summer. The crew was half the scientists.

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The missions will last 500 days and the crew will change every 7 months: “The mission will begin for 7 months without a break in the polar night from September to March. The temperature will range from -20 to -50 degrees. The crew must also beware of hostile wildlife, such as polar bears.. Thus, this camera will be filmed on a constant night of Arctic winter, sometimes the only noise is the ice that compresses the hull of the boat. This laboratory boat will allow scientists to stay in the Arctic ice for many months when it was impossible. The Arctic was chosen because it is the fastest warming region, 2-3 times faster than the rest of the world.

The cost of the boat is estimated at 18 million euros, 13 of which are funded by the state.

According to Gerhard Krinner, a glaciologist at the Institute of Environmental Environmental Sciences, the Tara Foundation will be able to measure the effects of this warming on marine biodiversity: “Climate change has long been thought to be particularly strong in the Arctic. We see it today. The Arctic Ocean, which used to be constantly covered with ice, will become increasingly empty in the summer. Therefore, it is unknown how the species adapts to these changes.“. Thus, the Arctic is a watchdog of climate change. It is important to get there to better understand the mechanisms that work to document these changes. For example, we can predict the consequences of the melting of permafrost in the continental Arctic.

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Tara Polar Station will be built in the coming months. The cost of the boat is estimated at 18 million euros, including 13 million funded by the state through the new polar strategy. Olivier Poirier d’Arvor, Ambassador of the Cluster, emphasizes the importance of these areas for French research: “Since 1993 and the creation of the Concordia station in Antarctica, this is the first time so many resources have been released for questions about the Arctic Circle. The time has come because we are far behind other countries that invest 15 times more than we do. The Germans, for example, are going to build icebreakers worth a billion euros to be able to approach the poles. That’s why we have about ten years to regain the place that was ours at the beginning of the 20th century. ” Thus, the Tara polar station will also become an instrument of the French soft power in this highly desirable Arctic region. If the first flight is scheduled for 2025, the missions will follow each other for at least 20 years.

Baptist Gaborit

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