- CNTV English - CCTV News

40 Australian and int'l scientists to reveal Antarctic secrets

01-04-2011 15:13 BJT

CANBERRA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 40 Australian and international scientists set sail to Antarctica on Tuesday to study a 2,500-square-kilometer iceberg.

The team led by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's (CSIRO) Steve Rintoul departed Hobart for Antarctica's Mertz Glacier, which was hit by a 97-kilometer-long glacier last year, breaking off a 78-kilometer piece.

Dr Rintoul said the collision, known as a "calving", gave scientists a rare insight to study changes in the Southern Ocean's temperature and salinity.

"The calving of the iceberg has exposed parts of the seabed which haven't been available for study in our lifetimes," he told ABC News.

"It's a biological hotspot supporting everything from microscopic photo plankton, right up to seals and whales.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in there."

Dr Rintoul said the waters surrounding the Mertz Glacier are also one of the key links in the network of ocean currents that influence the world's climate.

Meanwhile, Australian Antarctic Division's Dr Martin Riddle said the voyage could uncover new species of wildlife previously hidden under the ice, as they have been buried under 400 meters of ice for the last 80 years.

The team was equipped with cameras which worked 3,000 meters under the sea, as well as specially designed brackets to protect the equipment in deep sea canyons. They will also take measurements of carbon dioxide stored in the ocean.

The voyage will return to Hobart in February.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program