Boaty McBoatface makes major climate change discovery on maiden outing

Now, "Boaty" has completed its first mission, providing new insights into the increasingly strong winds that have been blowing over the Southern Ocean and how they are contributing to rising sea temperatures.

The robotic submersible was given the name originally chosen for a polar research ship by irreverent contestants in a public competition.

And when Boaty took its first expedition in April 2017 to study the depths of the Southern Ocean, it uncovered a key process linking increasing Antarctic winds to higher sea temps, which in turn fuels rising levels, according to the Telegraph. As a dignified compromise with the masses, the government ended up naming the ship after Sir David Attenborough, the well-known naturalist, but assigning the McBoatface name to the vessel's autonomous sub.

Although Boaty McBoatface was the most popular suggestion in the poll, the suggestion to use the name for the mother ship was not followed.

The yellow submarine explored 110 miles at depths of up to 4,000 metres in the Orkney Passage, a region of the Southern Ocean some 500 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula - the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica. The winds cause greater ocean turbulence, causing warm water to mix at mid-depths with cold, dense water in the abyss.

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"Our study is an important step in understanding how the climate change happening in the remote and inhospitable Antarctic waters will impact the warming of the oceans as a whole and future sea level rise", Alberto Naveira Garabato, lead author of the expedition from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

The data collected was published on Monday in the scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and showed Antarctic winds, growing stronger due to the ozone layer's depletion and increasing greenhouse gases, were adding to turbulence deep in the ocean.

Scientists said the process has not been factored into current models for predicting the impact of spiking global temperatures in the oceans, meaning forecasts should be changed.

"Our study is an important step in understanding how the climate change happening in the remote and inhospitable Antarctic waters will impact the warming of the oceans as a whole and future sea level rise", lead researcher Alberto Naveira Garabato, professor at the University of Southampton, said in a press release.

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