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25 September, 2021       LISBON - MAX. Nice with sun and some cloudsº, MIN. 03º

 
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Folders  |  THE TARA COMES TO LISBON
THE TARA COMES TO LISBON
Juliette Dejardin
THE TARA COMES TO LISBON
THE TARA COMES TO LISBON
 
The French oceanographic schooner LE TARA left Lorient on 5 September for a new three-year scientific mission during which it will travel more than 150 000 km, exploring all of the world’s seas and oceans.

The Portuguese capital was chosen as its first port of call out of the 60 the ship will make as a tribute to Portugal’s first discoveries made by the seas. On Saturday 12th September, the ship set sail again for the coast of Morocco.
 
A crew of 15 (5 sailors and 7 scientists including oceanographers, bacteriologists and biologists) of various nationalities are taking part in this adventure.

Their aim is to study the links that exist between climate change and marine eco-systems, whilst raising awareness on environmental issues by disseminating the results of their scientific investigations. 

The partnership with the French TV show " Thalassa " is one of the main parts of the communication package surrounding the journey.


We know that sea plankton close to the coastline is threatened by urban, industrial or agricultural waste in freshwater and that this waste hampers its proper development. The importance of such marine micro-organisms (virus’, bacteria, fish larvae) is significant.
Plankton represents a colossal mass of life in the sea and is essential to regulating climate and to the effective functioning of all eco-systems on earth.
These micro-organisms help the oceans to absorb around half of the carbon dioxide  released into the atmosphere and produce around half the oxygen that we breathe.


 
Until now, satellites were the only way to study plankton on earth, a means that has considerable shortcomings for it cannot detect the chlorophyll that exists several metres below the surface.  The crew on the Tara therefore aims to study the impact of climate change on these micro-organisms. Water samples taken from the four corners of the earth and at different depths will be analysed to this end.
 
This challenge involves managing to house on a 36-metre long by 10-metre wide boat, highly sophisticated scientific apparatus: the stern contains an oceanographic winch that can dive to 3000 metres and the main cabin contains a laboratory filled with spectacular equipment, with an imaging platform called T.A.O.N.I ( Tara Ocean Marine Biology Imaging Platform).

At the moment, the wise and rather friendly crew from the Tara is about to raise anchor and head for others detinations, but you can follow them daily by visiting the ship’s log on: http://oceans.taraexpeditions.org, so that you can experience ‘live’ the discoveries and observations that these keen scientists are making.

  
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