And the scientific work begins …
Most of the delegation’s analysis might be primarily based on Horseshoe Island. However, the researchers started their work from the very first moments of the journey. Assistant group leaders Hakan Yavaşoğlu and Oğuz Selbesoğlu began to put in the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) station on board. The first was accomplished in a number of hours. They’ll have to attend a number of extra days for the second stage.
Biologist Turgay Çakmak and group chief Dr. Ersan Başar headed out in a ship to gather water samples. Engineer Lt. Tuba Çınar measured completely different options of the water. Meanwhile, Abdulmuttalip Erdoğan of the TRT World group, who spent hours outdoors in the frigid climate, caught a extreme chilly. When his physique temperature reached 38.5 C (101.three F), he was examined by our group physician Seren Kırmızı and put up on a drip by the medical group on board. He appeared to get well inside a number of hours, which gave everybody on the ship large reduction.
Faculty members of Istanbul Medeniyet University commissioned biologist Turgay Çakmak to research algae in Antarctica. Çakmak, who got here to the continent for analysis, stated the microscopic algae there had begun to draw the consideration of the biotechnology trade. About his work, Çakmak stated: “Algae are a bunch of residing creatures which have tailored to varied ecological situations, from recent, salty, brackish and alkaline water to sizzling springs, from caves to deserts the place there are enough gentle and moisture, and it has taken over most ecosystems. The Antarctic continent, coated with snow and glaciers, isn’t any exception and is house to many sorts of algae. In this mission, I’m accumulating microscopic algae on the Antarctic continent. The algae will be capable to be evaluated biotechnologically by means of exams and research of the samples. Algae can be utilized in lots of sectors, together with as car gasoline, pharmaceutical or dietary components and in agriculture.”
First contact with whales
While cruising on the ship, all of us gathered above with information from the deck. A group of whales was passing the ship, they stated. We had been just a little dissatisfied once we reached the deck as a result of we solely had the alternative to see the backs of the whales. The whales, who don’t spend a lot time close to the floor, quickly disappeared utterly, disturbed by the noise of the ship. A few hours later, we got here throughout a terrifying sight that additionally fascinated us all. The sea had reworked right into a area of ice. The ship handed close to an array of ice floes, each massive and small. A few had been even bigger than our vessel. The lonely seals and penguins on the floating ice appeared to level to the extent of worldwide warming.
Traveling by ship by means of ice floes is dangerous. We realized how harmful our journey truly was whereas charging by means of the ice floes. Though most captains wouldn’t try to navigate these waters; we made progress because of the expertise of our captain and the steerage of an assistant positioned on the stern informing him about ice undetectable from above. In simply 4 hours, we had gathered essential information about Antarctica and world warming.
Becoming witnesses of historical past
We lastly reached the Faure Islands the place the GNSS station could be established by Turkey’s General Directorate of Mapping (HGM). After the feasibility examine was performed, it was determined that the station could be arrange on Dismal Island. While the three-individual HGM group made preparations for the set up of the station in the designated space, helicopters and boats had been put into operation once more. The logistics switch from the air and the sea took about three hours.
When the climate situations had been opportune, some members of the science delegation on the ship landed on Dismal Island and took samples of rocks, crops and water. During their sampling survey, the scientists had been attacked by south polar skua birds. The skua birds, who needed to guard their nests in the space, had been diving at the scientists and marking their territory. The scientists remained inside these limits and fulfilled the requirement of the most emphasised topic all through their coaching. One of the most sure and clear guidelines communicated was the proven fact that Antarctica belongs primarily to the animals residing there and that their habitats ought to by no means be harmed. Therefore, the minute we felt that the animals residing there have been disturbed by our presence, we moved away from the space. We totally abided by our coaching.
The set up of the GNSS station continued on the second day. At the finish of the second day, the station was prepared. This was Turkey’s first GNSS station overseas. The GNSS station mainly tracks the actions of the Earth’s crust. However, it is usually used as a world navigation system. All info obtained at this station, which collects crucial information for scientists coping with mapping and site, may even be shared with the world in actual-time.
The Turkish base
After establishing the station on Dismal, we left the island accompanied by some confused glances from the seals. Our subsequent cease was Horseshoe Island, the place Turkey’s first provisional science base is situated. This is the first time we are going to see the base, which was established with nice effort final yr. Only three folks on the group have seen the base earlier than – that’s, they had been on the group final yr. The different 21 are excited to go to the base. We had been in a position to cowl the 73 kilometers in 5 – 6 hours. The ship’s captain anchored at evening. When we went up on the deck, we might see the base from afar. I do not know the way correct it’s to say “evening.” It just isn’t simple to tell apart day from evening in Antarctica. The continent has no native time. For this cause, we use Chile’s native time, although it’s far-off. We profit virtually 16-17 hours of daylight. Though it’s not attainable to say the sky utterly darkens for the remaining hours. The subsequent day, we set off in the early hours of the morning in Zodiac boats. Our objective is to succeed in the Turkish base. After combating the wind and waves for 15 minutes, we reached the island. Two seals greeted us at the entrance of the island. The former members of the group stated these two seals have been residing in the identical place for 4 years and received used to our group. None of the creatures in Antarctica, apart from skua birds, run away from people as a result of they don’t take into account folks a risk, but. Aside from whale searching, which stopped way back, the possible cause seals don’t worry people is as a result of the creatures on this continent aren’t hunted. After assembly the two seals, seeing the Turkish flag on the short-term science base consisting of three containers impressed pleasure for the group. At first, amid the pleasure, we didn’t discover a colony of Adelie penguins clustered on the slope subsequent to us. The chief of the penguin colony separated from his pals and rushed at us at full pace. We stayed the place we had been. The penguin, whose function was to guard his colony, paused for a second as he approached on his mission to frighten. Realizing he couldn’t tackle the crowd, he headed again. To keep away from disturbing the colony additional, we turned our consideration to our tools. When the remainder of the group was completed with the Zodiacs, we fulfilled maybe our most essential process on the island. With the Bulgarian and Belarusian scientists amongst us, we sang our nationwide anthem and raised our flag.
A place like no different
I’m a really fortunate individual. So far, I’ve had the alternative of visiting many nations on every of the world’s six continents (bar Antarctica, till now). Each of them had completely different options and completely different beauties to supply. I noticed constructions that I admired very a lot. Sometimes I witnessed annoying occasions with nice disappointment. But every of them was about the world I knew. So whereas I used to be residing in each, I used to be very conscious of the place I used to be and what I used to be doing. Today, I’m certain as soon as once more that Antarctica is a spot that’s like no different on Earth! There is nowhere else that I can examine it to. Its nature, the air, the breath we take, the creatures residing right here … They are all very completely different. In only a blink, the panorama in entrance of me can change earlier than my eyes. The wind, a mountain of ice breaking, the rain, the snow, every thing occurs and modifications instantly. Though amid these intense and fast modifications, there’s a sure stillness. This place is sort of a limbo between Earth and house.
I get attacked – by birds
On my second day on Horseshoe Island, I took an extended stroll to get to know the land a bit higher. The scientists additionally began to work on completely different components of the island. The island was extra like a pool of scientists, every and everybody working like a bee. There is a steep slope simply behind the space the place the Turkish base is situated. After climbing this ice-coated slope, I reached a rocky space. There had been two small ponds, which will get coated in ice every so often. An unimaginable view greeted me once I crossed the ponds. The mainland of Antarctica and the magnificent sea in entrance of it type an unimaginable union. Out at sea, there are items of ice breaking from each the mainland and Horseshoe Island, with seals resting on them. I used to be immediately attacked whereas attempting to descend with fast steps to the seaside full of pleasure. A skua chook began screeching, circling above my head. Obviously, I used to be near his house. As I attempted to determine the place his nest was to steer myself away from it, he began to dive towards me once more. This time he aimed to assault. When I cowered to the floor, he flew over me. He tried to assault two extra instances however left me alone after seeing me altering course. When I lastly reached the shore, I needed to remain there for hours and get misplaced in the silence. Of course, I could not do that for a really very long time. After a few hours of ready, I left, beginning to really feel the results of the bitter chilly and returned to the base. When I went again to the base, helicopter sorties had began for the final logistics operations. The issues scientists wanted had been carried from the ship to the island in 5 helicopter sorties. Everything was now prepared for station constructing work that might take a number of days.
The first Turkish feminine officer on Antarctica
As an attendant at the Navigation Hydrography and Oceanography Department, Lt. Tuba Çınar was one in all the girls in our group. One of the most difficult missions of the expedition group was seabed mapping. To see this work on-website, I tagged alongside for a day. Lt. Tuba, two sailors and I set sail out towards the sea on one in all the boats. And let me inform you, you sway much more on a small boat than a giant ship due to all the waves. This makes it very troublesome to work on a ship. Such sea-mapping research, which may final hours and even days, had been carried out in strategic and essential areas in the Antarctic Ocean as a part of the National Antarctic Science Expedition. Last yr, the sea was scanned round Horseshoe Island and a depth map was created. The Naval Forces Command, which continued its mapping work this yr as nicely, despatched its first Turkish feminine officer to the island this time round. By staying on a ship for days on and round Horseshoe Island to take measurements and do mapping work, Lt. Tuba Çınar supplied Turkey and the world with essential information.
Although Antarctica is a land of numerous beauties and wonders, many issues are fully absent from its floor. For occasion, not one reptile might be discovered right here and, besides crustaceans, one has solely a slim likelihood of stumbling throughout its solely species of insect – the Belgica Antarctica. Furthermore, as there may be barely a patch of soil to be discovered on the total continent, neither can one count on to return throughout a single tree. Although it has solely been per week since we arrived, every single day presents us with a brand new, surprising discovery.
Plankton is the buzzword
Our foremost cause to return to Antarctica was to observe scientific analysis. We thus determined to have a chat on board the boat with scientist and expedition chief, Dr. Ersan Başar of the Black Sea Technical University’s (KTÜ) Marine Sciences Faculty. While conducting research all through the expedition, the professor has been taking samples of sea plankton from round Antarctica. Başar has been researching the distribution of phytoplankton and zooplankton for the final 4 years. Most of the research he has been concerned in Antarctica and elsewhere relate to varied types of plankton. Explaining how these research give attention to the amount and number of these species to find out the fertility of marine life, Başar says: “When we began this mission 4 years in the past, we got the likelihood to discover marine life protecting an space of 500 sq. kilometers. This permits us to gather an essential information set to the good thing about each Turkey and the world at massive. Alongside this, we’ve additionally performed work to see the extent of oil air pollution in the water. Aside from this mission, which has been ongoing for the final two years, we’ve additionally had the likelihood to discover the sources of the space.” Başar stated the expedition has been quite profitable and that the mission has been a fruitful endeavor for all concerned.
Research has proven that there are numerous metals and hydrocarbon reserves on the continent and its surrounding Southern Ocean. On the flooring of the Ross Sea alone, over 50 billion barrels of petrol, in addition to iron, gold, silver, nickel and different sources have been discovered. Alongside these, the continent is house to one in all the most important, but quick-depleting, of sources for human life, freshwater. It seems that 70% of the world’s freshwater reserves are current, in the type of ice, on this frosty continent.