French schooner Tara sets sail on scientific mission to study climate change

Schooner Tara sets off on her latest scientific expedition, leaving her home in Lorient, France, on Saturday December 12 2020.
Schooner Tara sets off on her latest scientific expedition, leaving her home in Lorient, France, on Saturday December 12 2020. © FRANCE 24 screengrab.

French sailing ship Tara has set off on a nearly two-year-long research expedition. The team on board will study the role played by micro-organisms in the context of climate change.

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On December 12, 2020, five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the schooner Tara set sail from Lorient, its homeport in northwestern France, to begin a new scientific expedition.

Over a two-year voyage, the sailing laboratory will travel 70,000 kilometres in the South Atlantic, along the South American and African coasts, as far as Antarctica.

Conceived by the Tara Ocean Foundation, this is the boat's 12th mission and it involves 42 research institutions around the world.

This time it will study the most fundamental fabric of the Ocean, its micro-organisms, and the future of this ecosystem under the new stresses of climate change.

"It's a bit like the 19th Century - when we went on long missions of three or four years to discover new species, trade routes, spices, territories," Romain Troublé, executive director of the Tara Ocean Foundation, told FRANCE 24.

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