7 May 2024 12:28

Ukraine joins int'l Antarctic ice exploration project

MOSCOW. May 7 (Interfax) - The National Antarctic Scientific Center (NASC) of Ukraine has joined the international effort to explore the Antarctic ice sheet, Ukrainian media said, citing the Education and Science Ministry.

"The NASC has joined the large-scale international project OCEAN:ICE - 'Ocean-Cryosphere Exchanges in Antarctica: Impacts on Climate and the Earth System'. It is part of the Horizon Europe project, funded by the European Commission. The project will run through October 31, 2026," the ministry's press service said.

OCEAN:ICE focuses on understanding how the Antarctic ice sheet and the surrounding Southern Ocean influence key process on Earth, including sea level change, the formation of deep-water currents, oceanic circulation and climate change.

The NASC will fill certain field data gaps by deploying an additional set of innovative equipment, namely ocean floats, in the Southern Ocean, the ministry said.

"These are autonomous oceanic instrumental platforms for under-water measures. They have no engines and do not need to be operated by a vessel or a human all the time. Such floats provide detailed measurements of the physical and chemical parameters of the ocean, for instance, the direction and speed of currents and of water temperature and salinity at various depths. These data help better understand seasonal exchanges between cold waters in the Weddell Sea and relatively warm waters of the center-western part of the Antarctic Peninsula," the ministry said.

In addition, NASC scientists will study the impact of precipitation, i.e. show and rain, on the balance of the shelf glacier's ice mass using a regional high-resolution atmosphere model.