“As Ice Recedes, Italian Ship Makes Record Journey into the Antarctic” –gCaptain

Italian Icebreaking Research ship Laura Bassi, the former RRS Ernest Shackleton. Photo credit Brian Burnell 

gCaptain reports,

“ROME, Jan 31 (Reuters) – An Italian ice-breaker carrying scientists researching in the Antarctic has sailed further south than any ship has done before, the organizers of the voyage said on Tuesday, a further sign of how ice is retreating around the poles.”

The Laura Bassi, the ship that did this most southerly voyage would be classified, by the Coast Guard. as a light icebreaker. It is only 80 meters (262 feet) in length and 5,455 tons full load. Its total generator capacity is only 5100KW or 6839HP, little more than half that of the old Wind class icebreakers (12,000 HP) built during WWII.

Clearly, things are changing in Antarctica.

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