The RV Polarstern sets off from Bremerhaven with young scientists onboard to investigate ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions
On 12th November 2016, the same day that “Oceans” is on the Global Climate Action agenda at the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference, the RV Polarstern left Bremerhaven, Germany on its transect heading south to Cape Town, South Africa.
For many of the trainees onboard the German research ship, this will be the first time they will have experienced shipboard research. They will receive training in deployment and operation of scientific gear, acquisition and processing of the sample material and analysis and interpretation of the respective data. All of these skills are indispensable for investigating ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions and important in understanding how climate change is impacting on ocean ecosytems and services. The 25 international post-graduate scholars will reach Cape Town, South Africa on 12th December. Known as the North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT), the programme is a joint cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART), the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), the Nippon Foundation (NF) and the European Commission-funded project AtlantOS.
POGO and its capacity building partner the Nippon Foundation is committed to furthering ocean observing capacity in the oceans and together will be sponsoring 11 of the scholars, all of whom are from developing countries. Just before departure from Bremerhaven, Andrian Gajigan, a scholar from the University of the Philippines Diliman said “I come from the Philippines, a country like many, that has experienced extreme weather events in recent years. The supertyphoon Yolanda caused devastation in my country and I am eager to learn more about how we can monitor the ocean and better understand the ocean-climate interactions”. He continued, “There is no doubt that climate change is occurring and humankind has to work together to take measures to reduce our impact on the environment. This training will give me and my colleagues an invaluable opportunity to have hand-on experience on the practical aspects of making oceanography observations”.