Seals, Robots Join Climate Fight

They may not be sharks with frickin lazer beams attached to their heads, but they're about as close as you're going to get.

Last week, there have been a couple of stories that have focused on the work that researchers in Antarctica are doing to combat the ice caps that continue to shrink every day.  Let's say that they've been, well, unorthodox.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Is this stylish horn the key to unlocking some of the most untouchable mysteries of Climate Change?"][/caption]

Researchers at the University of Santa Cruz have put 57 elephant seals to work. The seals are already equipped with devices that track where the seals are able to swim, as well as water temperature, pressure, and salinity as a result of an ecological diversity study a few years ago.  The seals have come back with valuable data, too, discovering large "troughs" that cut through the ice shelf and allow warm water to flow more freely from the ocean to the ice shelf.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="628" caption=""Gavia", the Climate Change crusading robot"][/caption]

Meanwhile, last week, the Discovery Channel ran a story about researchers at the University of British Columbia who launched a sophisticated robot that will track much of the same data.  While slightly less fun and significantly less cuddly than seals (the name "Gavia" doesn't help), this robot will collect vital data that scientists have been searching for for almost a decade.

It's exciting, innovative ideas like these that will give our planet a better chance at finding a breakthrough on tracking the warming of our planet.  Also, ideas like these represent a break from the every day, doom and gloom scenarios that don't get covered on the news anymore, and give important issues like these a better chance at getting coverage.  Maybe Dr. Evil was on to something after all...

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