Noumea/Oldenburg (DPA) – The German research vessel “Son” has left Noumea, the capital of the French province of New Caledonia, on an expedition to the South Pacific.
The ship took off on Friday afternoon (local time). There are about 30 scientists on board, mostly from northern Germany. During the voyage, the researchers want to reconstruct climate changes and ocean currents in the Tasman Sea, the sea between New Zealand and Australia, and thus get a glimpse into the recent history of the marine area. The history of glaciation on the South Island of New Zealand should also be examined.
Climate predictions must be improved
This basic research will help improve current climate models and predictions of future climate changes, Oldenburg expedition leader Katharina Bank of the German News Agency said. said a geochemist at the University of Oldenburg’s Institute of Marine Chemistry and Biology. The remote area has not been explored much.
The subtropical part of the world’s largest ocean connects the tropical waters with the sub-Antarctic waters. According to the researchers, processes that affect ocean currents and the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere occur here. In addition, New Zealand’s glaciers and rivers bring fresh water and sediment to the marine area, and prevailing winds bring dust from the land.
Sediment samples from depths of up to 6000 meters
In order to look into the past, the scientists want to collect samples of water and sediment during the four-week expedition. Sediment samples should be taken from a subsea plateau at a water depth of 900 to 6000 m. “Getting sediments from different depths of the water is important so that we can reconstruct the deep and shallow water cycles,” Banki said.
Some cores will be unlocked and checked while you are still aboard the Sonne. “This gives us clues to the age and nature of the sediments,” said the expedition leader. At a later time, a more detailed analysis will be carried out in a laboratory in Germany, which can then allow conclusions to be drawn about temperature, precipitation and flow conditions in the past.
On board the “Sonne” are scientists from the University of Oldenburg, the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Research and Arnemünde. There are also researchers from New York, Birmingham and New Zealand. Sun is expected to return to Noumea in mid-May.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220415-99-927482 / 2
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