Research ship returns with vital climate change data

, one of the few ocean-going research ships in the UK. Photograph: Lucie Novoveska/SAMS

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

A team of oceanographers from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) overcame the challenge of Covid-19 restrictions to complete a month-long research cruise to the north Atlantic, collecting crucial climate change data.

Restrictions meant the science team was greatly reduced in number and 14 – half the usual complement – boarded the RRS Discovery. The six SAMS scientists quarantined at home before being bussed from Oban to Southampton to join the ship at the beginning of October for what was only the second UK research cruise since lockdown in March.

Originally scheduled for August, the research team faced challenging sea conditions but managed to retrieve and redeploy a series of scientific moorings that have been collecting crucial information on how changes in the ocean are affecting our climate.

On their return to UK shores, the team, led by Professor Stuart Cunningham, had the bonus of being dropped off on SAMS’ doorstep in Ardmucknish Bay last Saturday, saving a week’s travel via Southampton. It also gave onlookers in the Oban and Lorn area a rare sighting of the 100-metre RRS Discovery, one of the few ocean-going research ships in the UK.

See next week’s Oban Times for more on the cruise and the team’s findings.