The United Nations is teaming up with top sailors to conduct scientific research in remote areas of the oceans during a non-stop race around the globe.
UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing, which is organizing the race, announced what they called an "unprecedented alliance between the sailing and scientific communities" at a press conference Friday.
Barcelona's deputy mayor Maite Fandos, who is president of the foundation, said the third Barcelona World Race starting Dec. 31 will be "turning our skippers into agents of the collection of ocean science, from salinity levels to micro-plastic pollution."
Mathieu Belbeoch, the commission's technical coordinator, said each skipper will put an "Argo robot" with sophisticated instruments into a remote area to measure the dynamics of the ocean.
Explore further: Vendee Globe route seen from above