Ship Meant To Be Called Boaty McBoatface Makes Maiden Voyage Under New Name
Despite the British public having voted for the boat to be named ‘Boaty McBoatface’, the ship has since set sail under a name inspired by one of the UK’s most beloved stars.
Who knows why Brits have such a reputation for being slightly immature, jokers, and having a lack of imagination, when they come up with a name like Boaty McBoatface?
Alas, despite the online poll resulting in the hilarious name coming out on top, ministers have overruled and settled on more of a serious take for the UK’s new polar research ship.
The 129 metre-long ship has completed its basic sea trials and is tied up in Greenwich, ready to set sail for its first expedition.
The ship will be used to conduct research into the Earth’s atmosphere and why it and the ocean are both warming.
After a climate map revealed 3,000,000 homes could be flooded by 2050 if emissions goals aren’t met, it is hoped by international senior scientific advisors that the presence of the Royal Research boat will spur on the urgent action needed to address the climate crisis.
The aim is to keep the rise in global temperature below 1.5°C, which the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said he thinks ‘is both important and achievable’.
But it’s only achievable if we get urgent action. If you work back, for example, from 2050, and ask what you need to do, you can’t rely on something coming along late in the day and saving us.
It’s about utilising the technologies we have now, getting them in place as soon as we can at scale. And that in itself requires R&D (research and development), and making sure that we use both technology, and, of course, natural actions, and the behavioural changes that we all need to take.
In time for the new austral summer research season, the Attenborough is set to sail to Antarctica, while also delivering supplies to stations located around the Southern Ocean and at Rothera, which is the UK’s main scientific base.
The ship cost £200 million to make and is classified as a Polar Class 4 icebreaker, meaning it should be able to withstand sea-ice without damaging its hull.
Alongside the ship’s potential to withstand sea-ice, it has the ability to deploy sampling equipment and subs, has onboard labs and cranes, and also features a helipad.
In covering the waters and land around the Arctic and Antarctic, the Attenborough will aid research into climate change, adding to information already discovered, such as how the worst effects of global heating are actually shielded from us by the Southern Ocean.
The Attenborough is currently located in the Thames, at the Prime Meridian, to honour the star of the COP26 climate conference and also allow members of the public to view it.
While the public cannot board the ship, a free festival is being hosted in its honour, called ‘Ice Worlds’, put on by Royal Museums Greenwich.
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