After Dublin and before Paris, the French scientific research vessel Tara will arrive in London on September 17th for a ten-day stay. The schooner has just completed a two-and-a-half year, 70, 000-milevoyage across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian Oceans, investigating marine ecosystems and biodiversity under the impact of climate change.
Scientists aboard Tara, mainly supported by the CNRS, EMBL, CEA*, the Veolia Foundation and EDF Foundation, have been exploring the role played by plankton in the earth’s life support system, and observing the effects of climate change on this critical base to the marine food chain.
Artists and journalists have also participated in the Tara Oceans expedition, helping to promote public awareness about the serious threats facing the world’s oceans. 21 laboratories in 10 countries are collaborating on the mission, and their research findings are being published immediately on free-access databases. It could take up to 10 years to analyse all the samples and complex data collected during the expedition. This work will eventually provide the first complete overview of the worldʼs plankton ecosystem.
Researchers from Tara Oceans shared their message about cherishing and protecting the world’s oceans at United Nations headquarters in New York, and at the recent Rio + 20 summit, where United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonheralded the work of Tara Oceans:“Earlier this year, I had the chance to board the Tara. The team was really inspiring.They shared so much information with me about oceans and climate change. I am really grateful that they are raisingawareness around the world … and I am very proud that the United Nations is supporting them.” In May 2013 Tara will head north for a new scientific expedition, crossing through the Arctic Ocean by the northwest and northeast passages.
Tuesday, September 18th at 9am
Aboard Tara – St Katharineʼs Docks, 50 St Katherine’s Way, London E1 1LA. In the presence of Etienne Bourgois, president of Tara Expeditions, & Chris Bowler, scientific coordinator of Tara Oceans. Researchers and crew will be available for interviews aboard Tara until 5 pm.
A series of events are planned in London to raise awareness about the work of the Tara Expeditions Foundation :
- Tara Oceans, The Secret World screening at the Maritime museum : September 20th at 12am
- Public visits : September 22nd – 23rd
- School visits : September 24th – 25th
- Climate Change evening at the Science Museum – September 26th
Formerly Sir Peter Blakeʼs “Seamaster”, since 2003, Tara belongs to agnès b and Etienne Bourgois, COO of agnès b. Tara is on course to alert the public to the fast upheavals in the oceans due to global warming and organise scientific expeditions.
French fashion designer agnès b. is the main sponsor of Tara Expeditions. Deeply concerned by the ecological threatsfacing our planet, she has funded the schooner as a platform for state-of-the-art scientific research: “Since 2003, I have beenpersonally committed to this project which at the beginning may have seemed totally utopic. In fact it has turned out to be aremarkable story. Above all our program helps advance knowledge. Thanks to Tara’s adventures, we are succeeding inraising young people’s awareness about the environment.”
* French National Center for Scientific Research, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and The European Molecular Biology Laboratory