Narwhals and Nasa Team up to Fight Climate Change

Narwhals breaching in the Arctic Kristen Laidre/NOAA

Narwhals will be assisting NASA in the charting of the Arctic Seas to study the rate of ice loss in Greenland

A NASA project called Oceans Melting Greenland uses a combination of ships, planes, and floating gadgets to track where and how fast warming oceans waters are melting Greenland’s ice. The challenge NASA faces is that large portions of the Artic Sea are boggled up by fields of icebergs. To reach the areas that need to be studied, NASA has recruited an unlikely new player to help them navigate and chart the Artic, the Narwhal.

Narwhals, which are commonalty referred to as “Unicorns of the Sea”, are found in the chilly waters surrounding Greenland, Canada and Russia. The unlikely recruit will be the oceanographers, charting the artic with satellite-linked time-depth-temperatures recorders.

The Narwhal is notoriously shy and allusive, routinely diving to depths of 1700 meters (5,577 feet). The data captured by the swimming and dives of the Narwhals will give scientist an insight into this part of the ocean and ice variations of the Artic Sea.

Scientist see this project as a win-win situation as the Narwhals will be able to provide information they would be unable to obtain themselves, while also being able to learn more about the Narwhal.

Hopefully, some of the data obtained will be able to help protect the environment of the Narwhal and ensure we always have this unique animal swimming in our seas.

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