Tuesday May 22, 2018

India’s scientific mission in Antarctica gets Rs 1051 crore ‘gift’



By NewsGram Staff Writer

To strengthen India’s research base in Antarctica, the government today authorised the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa to acquire a Polar Research Vehicle (PRV) at the cost of Rs 1051 crore.

“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved acquisition of the Polar Research Vessel (PRV) in October last year at an estimated expenditure of over Rs. 1051 crore,” Minister of State for Earth Sciences YS Chowdary said.

He said the vessel is expected to contribute to India’s scientific expeditions and to sustain research at two Indian bases in Antarctica (Maitri and Bharti) and also dovetail research initiatives in the Southern Ocean domain in the proximal regions of the Antarctic continent.

“Taking into consideration the growing need of the scientific community to initiate studies in the frontier realms of ocean sciences, and the uncertainty in the charter-hire of polar vessels and the ever-escalating chartering costs it was decided to explore the feasibility of constructing and commissioning a polar research vessel which can cater to both the scientific and logistics aspects of the polar and Southern Ocean programmes,” the minister said, and added, that the PRV will give an expansion to our scientific activities into the Arctic and Southern Ocean.

“It could also widen the thrust on Arctic research disciplines, undertaken through Indian Station Himadri, in addition to providing a suitable research platform for other ocean research programmes,” Chowdary said.

Ever since the first Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica began way back in 1981, India has been managing the transportation of the expedition personnel and cargo to and back from Antarctica through chartered vessels.





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NASA to intensify focus on Earth’s frozen regions

Together the two missions will make critical, complementary measurements of Earth's glaciers and ice sheets, NASA said. Both missions will also make other key observations

NASA to research more about Earth's frozen surfaces. IANS
  • NASA to conduct more research about Earth’s frozen surfaces
  • It will enhance their understanding of Earth’s ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice, snow cover and permafrost
  • NASA will launch two new satellite missions for this purpose

To enhance understanding of Earth’s ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice, snow cover and permafrost, NASA will launch two new satellite missions and conduct an array of field research in 2018, the US space agency said on Tuesday.

These missions come at a time when decades of observations from the ground, air and space have revealed signs of change in these frozen regions of our planet, called the “cryosphere.”

NASA to release two missions focused on moon soon in 2022. Pixabay
NASA will conduct research by launching two new satellite missions. Pixabay

Ongoing changes with the cryosphere, while often occurring in remote regions, have impacts on people all around the world — sea level rise affects coastlines globally, more than a billion people rely on water from snowpack, and the diminishing sea ice that covers the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in Earth’s climate and weather patterns.

This spring, NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences are scheduled to launch the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, twin satellites that will continue the original GRACE mission’s legacy of tracking fluctuations in Earth’s gravity field in order to detect changes in mass, including the mass of ice sheets and aquifers.

Also Read: Jupiter’s Great Red Spot grows taller: NASA

And in autumn, NASA is scheduled to launch the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), which will use a highly advanced laser instrument to measure the changing elevation of ice around the world, providing a view of the height of Earth’s ice with greater detail than previously possible.

This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS
It will also help scientists understand about Cryosphere. IANS

Together the two missions will make critical, complementary measurements of Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets, NASA said. Both missions will also make other key observations. For instance, GRACE-FO will measure groundwater reserves and deep ocean currents and ICESat-2 will measure sea ice thickness and vegetation height. NASA research shows that permafrost — permanently frozen ground in the Arctic that contains heat-trapping gases such as methane and carbon dioxide — is thawing at faster rates now than scientists have observed before. IANS