ALE has been named as the primary logistics provider for a major scientific undertaking in West Antarctica. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently published a Draft Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation of the proposed exploration of Subglacial Lake Ellsworth. This project has two main aims: to determine the presence of life in an Antarctic subglacial lake; and to reveal the paleoenvironmental and glacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
The glacial history of the lake, hidden deep beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet, is critical to understanding the present day risk of collapse of the ice sheet itself, and so has a direct link to global climate change research.
Mike Sharp, ALE’s Operations Manager, says, “This is by far the biggest scientific project for which we have ever provided logistic support. We have a strong environmental commitment at ALE and we are pleased to see that the project has been subjected to such a detailed environmental scrutiny. We will be committing considerable resources to the project during the run up to the actual drilling into the lake and it will be a real opportunity for our guests to be in Antarctica for such an exciting and ground-breaking project.”
The project is master minded by Prof Martin Siegert from the University of Edinburgh but also involves a number of other universities and research institutes. It is being coordinated by the British Antarctic Survey.
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