Antarctic Climate-Change Research
Robotic submarine project
Scientists from Northern Illinois University will deploy a new 28-foot long, cigar-shaped robotic submarine to be used in exploration beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
The robotic submarine will allow scientists for the first time ever to observe melting and other conditions at the interface between seawater and the base of the glacial ice.
The 2,200-pound submarine is scheduled to be tested in Lake Tahoe in the fall of 2011.
Few efforts to improve our understanding of global warming have been more ambitious or larger in scale than ANDRILL — a $30 million international project involving some 150 scientists and led in part by Northern Illinois University geologist Ross Powell.
Powell and other NIU scientists and students worked to recover and decipher geologic records buried deep within the Antarctic sea bed. These records, in the form of rock core samples, provide scientists with a wealth of information about the continent’s climate history. Ultimately, that information has led to a better understanding of contemporary global warming trends.