From December 12, 2020, five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the schooner Tara will set sail from Lorient, her home port, to embark on a new major scientific expedition. Over nearly two years, the sailing laboratory will travel 70,000 kilometers in the South Atlantic, along the South American and African coasts and as far as Antarctica. Conceived by the Tara Ocean Foundation and its scientific partners including the CNRS, CEA, SZN and EMBL, this mission involves 42 research institutions from around the world.
We will study the ocean’s most fundamental fabric — the microbiome — to understand the functioning of this ecosystem in a context of ongoing global change.
Aboard Tara, scientists will collect the marine microbiome for a major DNA sequencing and imaging effort, while measuring a large number of environmental parameters, including temperature, oxygen level, presence of nutrients, and plastic pollution.
During some of the 23 planned stopovers, the scientific teams will share knowledge with local researchers on know-how, best practices and techniques needed to study the ocean, from collection of samples, management and analysis of data, to the use of results in practice.
Moreover, together with AtlantECO’s partners, educational, ocean literacy, capacity building and events with decision makers and end-users will be organized at stopovers on the three continents visited (Europe, South America and Africa) to foster an engagement with and from everyone involved in the preservation of ocean resources, from citizens, scientists, to service providers and policy makers.
You can find more about the mission and linked activities on FTO's website.