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PlanetSolar the Solar Boat Reaches London, Sails the Thames

With the solar catamaran’s arrival in London, the scientific measurements along the Gulf Stream are officially completed for the 2013 campaign “PlanetSolar DeepWater, ”reports
PlanetSolar.

This scientific adventure aims to improve our understanding of the interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere, while raising public awareness of the complexity of climate change and its impacts. –MS Tûranor PlanetSolar wrote at the beginning of this maritime exploration.

Planetsolar Drops Anchor in London, the Final Stage of the “Deepwater” Scientific Expedition

London PlanetSolar

PlanetSolar in London, 31 August 2013 | Credit:  Thi Anh Dao Le |  © All rights reserved PlanetSolar

After leaving Oostende, Belgium on August 30, the largest solar boat in the world reached London a day later, thereby bringing the campaign of scientific measurements along the Gulf Stream (PlanetSolar DeepWater) to a close.The catamaran had been transformed into a scientific platform since the month of June; the onboard team of researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) completed its collection of unprecedented data between Oostende and London. The information gathered will be analyzed at UNIGE.

The ship sailed on the Thames for the first time, near the Tower Bridge, and finally moored at the West India Docks in the heart of the British city.

London PlanetSolar

PlanetSolar in London, 31 August 2013 | Credit:  Thi Anh Dao Le |  © All rights reserved PlanetSolar

After tracking the Gulf Stream for over 8,000 km, the “PlanetSolar DeepWater” scientific expedition, carried out in collaboration with the University of Geneva (UNIGE), ended in the British capital on Saturday, August 31.

The London stopover successfully concluded this unique measurement campaign, which led the ship and her crew, composed of both sailors and researchers, along the trail of the Gulf Stream, the primary regulator of European and North American climate.

London PlanetSolar

PlanetSolar in London, 31 August 2013 | Credit:  Thi Anh Dao Le |  © All rights reserved PlanetSolar

UNIGE is excited about analyzing the data, and is drawing a positive initial assessment of the expedition. “PlanetSolar DeepWater made it possible to test several scientific instruments—some of which were prototypes developed at UNIGE—in real conditions. Extensive physical, chemical, and biological data is now in the hands of UNIGE and will be the subject of a thorough analysis.

Although the study of this information is not yet under way, interesting trends are becoming apparent, particularly in relation to sea spray aerosol production,” states Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at UNIGE.

London PlanetSolar

PlanetSolar in London, 31 August 2013 | Credit:  Thi Anh Dao Le |  © All rights reserved PlanetSolar

During this scientific journey, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar made a number of stopovers—in Miami, New York and Boston in the United States, Halifax, St. John’s, Canada, and Oostende, Belgium. These steps were unique opportunities to communicate the stakes of the “DeepWater” expedition, and raise public awareness about the issue of climate change. These communicative actions will continue until the Paris stopover, which will mark the endpoint of the 2013 PlanetSolar campaign.

Note: Why was the MM Tûranor Planetsolar selected for this expedition? The use of a ship that is optimized and powered by renewable energy highlights one of the current technological solutions to the climate problem.

By Amber Archangel

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