Dark Waters

Modelling the Southern Ocean’s ice dynamics with more efficient, locally-developed instruments.

01 February 2024

From left: Robyn Verrinder (principle investigator), Lawrence Stanton (buoy team), Michael Noyce

When it comes to climate change, sea ice, also known as pack ice, is a crucial feature in the polar regions. It serves as a habitat, a hunting ground and transportation route for a wide variety of species. It also acts as a blanket, separating the ocean from the atmosphere, trapping excess heat energy. Today, scientists monitor climate change by measuring sea ice from above using satellite data, but Michael Noyce, postgraduate researcher at UCT, is trying a more hands-on approach.

He went on SCALE (Southern Ocean Seasonal Experiment), a South African led research expedition on the Agulhas II, which travels due south from Cape Town to the Marginal Ice Zone along what is known as the Good Hope line.

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