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World's largest solar boat sails into climate change project

by Nancy Knudsen on 14 Oct 2012
The PlanetSolar crew are off on a new project to assist climate change science .. .
She has circumnavigated the world in a demonstration of the efficacy of solar power, she has made a triumphant tour of the Mediterranean, and now she is about to help the cause of climate change science by monitoring the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean. It's Turanor, PlanetSolar, the strange, gigantic craft which is the world's largest solar sailer.

In partnership with the University of Geneva, the boat will take a team of scientist from Florida to Iceland, following the Gulf Stream, in an effort to collect new information and data. The co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 and superintendent of the University of Geneva, Martin Beniston will head this project.

Apart from its valuable role in the advancement of climate change science, the project is meant to contribute to raising awareness about the reality and complexity of climatic change.

The Science:
The Gulf Stream, an ocean current that transports heat from the tropics to the Arctic across the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the significant regulators of climate in the area. The relatively small scales related to deep-water formation (the dense saline and cold waters that activate the deep-water currents of the global ocean) will be measured by laser-based equipment designed to identify transitions in chemical and biological composition of particles at the ocean-atmosphere interface. Measurements will include the turbulent vortices within the current that distribute heat from the tropics to the poles.

The project just received the Global +5 innovation prize.

GLOBAL+5 is the first ever festival of global governance. GLOBAL+5 is a unique and exciting opportunity to identify and award innovative and visionary projects, addressing some of the most pressing global challenges the world will be facing in the next five years. The platform is a powerful force for individuals, groups and organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors to exchange their ideas and catalyze positive change.

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