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    Belgian researchers on mission off the coast of Antarctica

    Six researchers from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the University of Liège (ULg) left Christchurch, New Zealand on Monday to start the “Pipers” mission (Polynias, Ice Production and Seasonal Evolution in the Ross Sea) off the coast of Antarctica. The expedition will analyse the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice for 10 weeks.

    The scientific team of about twenty researchers from eight different countries will first cross the Southern Ocean aboard the powerful American icebreaker, N.B. Palmer, before reaching the Ross Sea, a bay bordering Antarctica. The mission, which will be organised by the US National Scientific Foundation (NSF) and the United States Antarctic Program (USAP), will examine greenhouse gases and their impact on melting sea ice and climate change.

    Scientists expect a dangerous sea trip because of the challenging weather conditions during the austral winter season.

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times