Antarctica K068

Project Description

Antarctica K068

In 2002, we supported Expedition Antarctica K068, a cooperative research project between researchers at the University of New Hampshire and the University of Otago. The project investigated the effects of ultraviolet radiation on marine life below the Antarctic sea ice. Dives beneath the annual sea ice were required to deploy optical instruments sand collect samples. This was one of several early ‘extreme environment’ projects that steered us towards developing new technology and techniques for greater human efficiency while working underwater.

The project resulted in evidence that Antarctic marine life is impacted by ultraviolet radiation (due to thinning ozone) – even these critters can be sunburned! This work has implications in global climate change and speaks to how our actions here can impact life in the farthest corners of the planet.

Publications

Lesser, Michael P.Lamare, Miles D.Barker, Michael F., ( 2004), Transmission of ultraviolet radiation through the Antarctic annual sea ice and its biological effects on sea urchin embryosLimnology and Oceanography6, doi: 10.4319/lo.2004.49.6.1957. download