Operating at the BAS base of Rothera The Royal Navy's only Antarctic research ship has completed her first Antarctic mission of the season – revealing the impact of global warming. HMS Protector is on a five-year mission to support international research into wildlife, the changing climate, and the shifting waters of Antarctica.
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The Plymouth-based icebreaker has three ‘work periods’ planned around the Antarctic Peninsula before autumn descends on the region and rules out her moving safely around numerous bases and through icy waters.
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The mission, which covered the festive season and carried over into 2022, started with work around the South Sandwich Islands to support research into the penguin population.
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From there, the ship moved deeper into the Antarctic to continue her mission in some of the most remote islands on the planet.
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Naval charts of waters around islands like Southern Thule and the Cook Islands have not been updated in nearly a century – with the challenge made all the greater by unfavorable sea conditions and grounded icebergs
This forced Protector to spend two days sheltering inside a caldera – the hollowed-out innards of a volcano. (Forces news)