UK scientists have recruited a squad of seals from the coast of West Antarctica to help measure the effects of climate change. The seals were equipped with sensors that measured the temperature and salinity of the Amundsen Sea.
The data collected from more than 10,000 dives, over 150,000 square km, discovered that the deep water current, the Circumpolar Deep Water, is bigger, warmer and saltier in winter months than during summer. This suggests that there is likely to be more melting of ice sheets during winter.
Enlisting the seals has helped scientists collect more data than previous ship-based surveys, allowing them to predict the rate at which the ice sheets will melt with greater accuracy. Another group of seals will be enlisted next year to better understand these changes over time.