Italian Ice-breaker Makes History with Record Journey to Antarctica’s Southernmost Point

An Italian ice-breaker ship has made history with a record journey in Antarctica, reaching the southernmost point ever reached by a ship in the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea. The journey was made possible due to the accelerated loss of ice on the continent, caused by climate change and the warming of the planet.

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As part of the 38th Italian expedition of the National Antarctic Research Programme (PNRA), the vessel sailed further south than any ship has done before, reaching the coordinates of 78° 44.280 S. Researchers from the Laura Bassi took samples to study the fish in the waters and explored to a depth of 216 meters to understand the sea currents.

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The results of the study revealed the presence of particularly cold water, confirming its importance for the study of the dynamics of the currents in the Ross Sea. The voyage was made possible due to an unusual lack of ice in the area, according to the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics.

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Captain Franco Sedmak, who led the expedition, shared his mixed emotions about the journey, stating, “I am happy with setting a record, but at the same time, I am sad to see that things are really changing here in Antarctica and in the world in general.” The melting of the ice in just a few years allowed the ship to reach the southernmost point, but it is a reminder of the effects of climate change on the planet.

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