The UK’s new polar research ship has made its London debut in Greenwich this week in support of the UK Presidency of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
RRS Sir David Attenborough has been undergoing sea trials around the UK and is now ready for service. The ship will embark on its first Antarctic mission later this year.
The ship is making this special visit to Greenwich as part of a three-day public celebration hosted by the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG).
Ice Worlds, which comprises 15 interactive and immersive exhibition stands:
- showcases environmental science, engineering and technology excellence
- aims to raise awareness of the importance and relevance of polar science and why it matters to everyday life.
A penguin parade and presentation of a good luck garland to the ship by local children will conclude the event.
A festival highlight includes a live-streamed tour of the state-of-the-art ship, and the launch of a new virtual reality experience. The tour will be streamed on a large screen next to the Cutty Sark and across digital channels.
Events in the National Maritime Museum and on board the RRS Sir David Attenborough are showcasing international collaboration. This includes the major UK-US International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration and the European Beyond EPICA ice core collaboration to drill the oldest ice on Earth. A selection of ocean submersibles will be on display including Boaty McBoatface.
In the week before COP26, senior scientific advisers to governments around the world have published a joint statement addressed to:
- industry leaders.
Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance announced a statement from the RRS Sir David Attenborough that highlighted key questions in climate science and innovation, across:
- mitigation: limiting global warming by reducing the greenhouse gases
- adaptation: changing the way we live to cope with unavoidable changes.
This new research platform will transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the polar regions. It has been:
- commissioned by NERC, part of UK Research and Innovation
- built by Cammell Laird
- operated by British Antarctic Survey.
It is part of a major government polar infrastructure investment programme designed to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.
Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said:
Treating the planet
Sir Patrick Vallance, government Chief Scientific Adviser, said:
Accessible to all
Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair NERC, said:
Early warning systems
Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey, says:
Forefront of polar science
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser is Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation. She says:
Paddy Rodgers, Director of Royal Museum’s Greenwich, says:
Find out more about Ice Worlds and how you can get involved.
Visit the virtual RRS Sir David Attenborough.
Source: UK Research and Innovation.
Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). They bring together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For more details go to: https://www.ukri.org/