NOC celebrates new partnership with ‘10% for the Ocean’

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has received £10,000 in funding from the philanthropy foundation, 10% for the Ocean as part of a new partnership.

The funding will support the NOC’s involvement in The Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network Integrating Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Processes (The TARSAN project), which will see NOC scientists support a 2022 expedition to the Thwaites Glacier.

The expedition will be led by Professor Erin Pettit from Oregon State University and Professor Karen Heywood from the University of East Anglia and aims to shine a light on the future of the Thwaites Glacier and its potential contribution to global sea-level rise.

The NOC’s state-of-the-art autonomous underwater Autosub Long-Range (ALR) vehicle will be providing the multi-national team with a bespoke navigation system, that will enable teams to navigate into narrow channels beneath ice-shelves. The ALR vehicle will also be fitted with sensors that will measure the temperature, salinity, current velocity, turbulence, and dissolved oxygen. The research will help identify how variation in atmospheric or oceanic conditions may influence the behaviour and stability of ice shelves in the region.

Oliver Hicks, Executive Director at 10% for the Ocean, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with NOC; not only are they world leaders in oceanographic science, but their focus on collaboration and innovation is also in true alignment with our approach to ocean recovery.

“Supporting the NOC’s infrastructure project in Antarctica serves a dual purpose; not only will it provide data critical to understanding ocean health in remote regions but inform how new technologies will contribute to a low carbon future in oceanographic research. As far as we’re concerned it’s win-win.”

The TARSAN project is due to embark on the Nathaniel B. Palmer, an ice-capable research ship from Punta Arena, Chile on 2 January and return on 8 March. The expedition is aiming to seek a greater understanding of the future of the Thwaites Glacier and its potential contribution to global sea-level rise. The ship will voyage to the Amundsen Sea and undertake research on the Thwaites Glacier as well as the Getz, Crosson, and Dotson ice-shelves. The team will follow the ice edge and deploy gliders and ship-fitted sensors to map the bathymetry, water mixing, and dynamics in front of the ice-shelve systems.

Sofie Bennett Head of Philanthropy, at the National Oceanography Centre, said: “We’re so grateful to 10% for the Ocean for their generous donation to support our vital research in understanding the future of the Thwaites glacier. This funding means NOC’s scientists can support a multi-national effort to explore ice-shelves with our state-of-the-art ALR technology, enabling the teams to explore areas which have not been researched since 2014.”

Currently, the ocean only receives 1% of philanthropic support globally. Since becoming an independent organisation in 2019, the NOC has opportunity to unite with new partners. Individuals, foundations and corporations who all have an important role to play in understanding our changing ocean, so as a collective we can play our part in helping to restore it.

We are looking for new partners who share our common purpose and passion to explore and conserve the ocean. If you would like to find out more please contact our Partnerships and Philanthropy team: