Climate Change

Science & Sailing: Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expeditions

I couldn’t praise the Linden crew highly enough, extremely professional, friendly and encouraged us to be part of the team. I’d sail on that boat with that crew anywhere. The experience was at times spiritual, life affirming. I can’t recommend the experience highly enough

Andy M – Ocean Warrior #Foundation Expedition, 2023

The Thrill of Sailing Meets the Noble Quest of Science

What’s better than the wind in your sails and the open sea before you? Well, how about adding a sprinkle of scientific research that can contribute to our understanding of the world? That’s precisely what the #Resolute Expeditions, part of the Ocean Warrior project, brings to the table—or should I say, chart table.

Led by seasoned polar explorer Jim McNeill, these expeditions don’t just offer a thrilling nautical experience; they give sailors a chance to actively contribute to the critical scientific discourse on climate change and ocean health. The expeditions aim to amass consistent data over a decade, thereby creating a robust foundation for understanding how our oceans are faring in a rapidly changing climate.

View All Ocean Warrior Voyages

Here’s a closer look at the research endeavours on board:

The Schooner ‘Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expeditions ship Linden’: Your Floating Lab

You won’t be cramped on some steel monstrosity; you’ll be on Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expeditions ship Linden—a traditional three-masted schooner. Equipped with state-of-the-art scientific instruments yet maintaining its traditional charm. Linden provides the perfect platform for combining old-world sailing with cutting-edge research. Trust me, it’s as romantic as it sounds, but with a high-tech twist.

This decade long mission will demonstrate that using a traditional sailing vessel equipped with state of the art autonomous scientific instrumentation can address key questions in polar ocean and climate research. Here are some of the research topics we could be carrying out:

Air-Sea Carbon Dioxide Fluxes

The exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the ocean is a critical component in the Earth’s carbon cycle. Air-sea CO2 fluxes can serve as either a sink or source of atmospheric CO2, depending on a variety of factors like water temperature, salinity, and biological activity. Studying this interaction helps researchers understand how much CO2 the ocean can absorb, which is crucial for understanding climate change dynamics.

What Controls the Spatial and Temporal Variability of Oceanic CO2 Uptake?

Oceanic CO2 uptake varies with location and over time due to factors like temperature, salinity, wind speed, and biological processes. Understanding the spatial and temporal variability helps in predicting how these factors might change due to climate change or human activity. It’s key to figuring out how effective the oceans will be in the future at acting as a carbon sink.

Phytoplankton Community Dynamics

Phytoplankton are the basis of the marine food web and play a crucial role in carbon cycling. Studying their community dynamics helps researchers understand how changes in environmental conditions, like nutrient availability or temperature shifts, impact these microorganisms. This, in turn, gives insights into larger ecosystem health and carbon cycling.

What Determines the Distribution Patterns of Plankton?

Plankton communities are shaped by both natural and anthropogenic factors. This includes variables like water temperature, light availability, nutrient levels, and even human activities such as pollution. Understanding the distribution patterns allows researchers to anticipate how planktonic communities will respond to environmental shifts, which impacts everything from fish populations to carbon cycling.

Validation of Ocean Colour Satellites

Satellites that measure ocean colour provide invaluable data on phytoplankton concentrations, water quality, and other oceanic properties. Validating these readings with direct measurements is essential for ensuring the data’s accuracy, which then feeds into climate models, fisheries management, and other applied research.

Are Phytoplankton Biomass and/or Community Structure Changing at Global, Basin, and Regional Scales?

Phytoplankton communities are indicators of environmental change, whether it’s climate-related or due to human activity. Understanding whether these communities are undergoing long-term changes at different scales helps scientists assess the overall health of the oceans and how this could affect the global carbon cycle.

Changes in Ocean Chemistry and Physical Structure

Climate change is impacting the ocean’s chemistry, including pH levels, as well as its physical structure, such as temperature stratification. These changes can have ripple effects throughout marine ecosystems, affecting everything from coral reefs to fish populations. Understanding the rate of these changes is essential for conservation efforts.

Seabird and Sea Mammal Biodiversity & Invasive Species

The presence and health of seabirds and sea mammals serve as indicators for the overall health of marine ecosystems. Changes in these populations can signify shifts in food availability, habitat conditions, or the introduction of invasive species. Studying these shifts provides valuable data for conservation strategies.

Meteorology & Hydrography

Weather conditions and water currents have immediate and long-term impacts on marine ecosystems. Understanding these physical aspects of the ocean environment helps researchers interpret changes in biological data and allows for more accurate predictions of how climate change may affect marine habitats.

The Lay of the Land, or Rather, the Sea

The expedition embarks on a 10,000-nautical-mile journey split into eight different legs, each offering its unique blend of sailing challenges and scientific opportunities. From Longyearbyen to Plymouth, from the icy waters of the Baffin Strait to the coasts of Greenland, every leg promises a unique experience. Whether you’re navigating through Lancaster Sound or exploring the coasts of Greenland, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring vistas and thrilling sailing.

While the usual sailing trips offer an escape from the mundane, Ocean Warrior’s #Resolute Expeditions offer something more—an escape with a purpose. Whether you’re self-funded or seeking sponsorship, the expedition offers ample support for your journey. You won’t just be traversing the seas; you’ll be part of a team that is actively contributing to the future of scientific research.

So, if you’re eager to expand your sailing horizons while contributing to something genuinely meaningful, why not climb aboard Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expeditions ship Linden and set sail into the unknown? It’s time for a different kind of adventure, one that enriches not just your life but potentially the world’s understanding of its oceans. And let’s face it—there’s nothing quite like looking out over the open sea and knowing that you’re part of something much bigger than yourself

Download our FREE Ocean Warrior Info Pack here

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Marketing Assistant, Tall Ship Sailor & Co-Host of the Off Watch Podcast

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