Major Antarctic study to begin next year

Dec 07, 2005

Sixty-two Australian researchers will spend 10 weeks next year sampling and surveying the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica.

The scientists -- from the Australian Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center -- will, among other tasks, estimate the number of krill in the ocean and compare visual observations of whales with acoustical observations, said study leader Steve Nicol.

"So when all this is finished we will have a third of the Antarctic surveyed and we'll have a complete picture of everything from the oceanography right the way through to the whales, (giving) us a really good idea of how the entire system works," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Krill researcher Dr. Toby Jarvis said the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans are a vital food source in the Southern Ocean, but the number and distribution of krill is not known.

An echo sounder trailed behind the expedition's ship will be used to collect information, rather than towing a net.

"Krill provide sound echoes and it gives us a way of measuring with a much higher degree of resolution, where these krill are and how many there are," Jarvis told the ABC.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA missions monitor a waking black hole

Related Stories

Petrels tracked across the Oceans

May 26, 2015

Staff at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are following the journeys of White-chinned Petrel fledglings as they make their first journeys over the South Atlantic Ocean in search of food. The birds have been ...

Antarctic krill help to fertilize Southern Ocean with iron

Jul 04, 2011

A new discovery reveals that the shrimp-like creature at the heart of the Antarctic food chain could play a key role in fertilising the Southern Ocean with iron – stimulating the growth of phytoplankton (microscopic ...

Japan aquarium shows mysterious clear-blood fish

Apr 05, 2013

The deep oceans have yielded many mysteries that have puzzled people for centuries, from the giant squid to huge jellyfish that look like UFOs. To that list add a fish with totally transparent blood.

Antarctic sea ice thickness affects algae populations

Dec 18, 2012

In the waters off Antarctica, algae grow and live in the sea ice that surrounds the southern continent-a floating habitat sure to change as the planet warms. As with most aquatic ecosystems, microscopic algae form the base ...

Antarctic krill provide carbon sink in Southern Ocean

Feb 06, 2006

New research on Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a shrimp-like animal at the heart of the Southern Ocean food chain, reveals behaviour that shows that they absorb and transfer more carbon from the Earth’s surface than ...

Blue whales 'switch on' Antarctic song

Mar 11, 2015

A team of Australian and New Zealand researchers has tracked scores of blue whales off Antarctica, eavesdropping as the world's largest animals began their rumbling song, which can be detected 750 kilometres ...

Recommended for you

NASA missions monitor a waking black hole

2 hours ago

NASA's Swift satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from the constellation Cygnus on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes later, the Japanese experiment on the International ...

What is the habitable zone?

11 hours ago

The weather in your hometown is downright uninhabitable. There's scorching heatwaves, annual tyhpoonic deluges, and snow deep enough to bury a corn silo.

Galaxy survey to probe why the universe is accelerating

12 hours ago

We know that our universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, but what causes this growth remains a mystery. The most likely explanation is that a strange force dubbed "dark energy" is driving it. Now a ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.