Two friends to sail Antarctic in all-female climate research expedition

Dr Rebecca Wade and her childhood friend Fiona Logan will embark on their journey on Monday.

Two best friends from Newport-on-Tay are to set sail to the Antarctic peninsula as part of an all-female research expedition in climate change.

Dr Rebecca Wade and her childhood friend Fiona Logan will embark on their journey on October 30 as part of the Homeward Bound leadership programme.

Dr Wade is a lecturer in environmental science at Abertay University.

She told STV News: “Even thinking about how structures are built in Antarctica and hostile environments need to be approached, in terms of buildings and structures and materials and the challenges that are faced.

“There are lots of links between my teaching and my research. We will be looking at nature-based solutions, which is what we’ll be doing in Antarctica.”

The research gathered in the early 20th century is still used to monitor climate change today

Rebecca and Fiona will be part of a team of 88 other women from 17 different countries – all of whom work in STEM subjects.

Fiona Logan, the CEO of Insights, is hoping she’ll be able to learn from the experience.

She said: “I’d really like the opportunity to witness first-hand the impacts of climate change. Of course, the transformational aspects of being in one of the few remaining wildernesses and the wildlife experience will be tremendous.

“But also to spend time with this really esteemed group of women from STEM backgrounds and to learn.”

They’ll be retracing the route completed by Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernst Shackleton onboard the RRS Discovery more than a century ago.

The research gathered in 1901 is still used to monitor climate change today.

Melting ice shelves could see global sea levels rise by several metres

As part of the research, they’ll be carrying out observations on wildlife, plants and ice in the frozen south.

But before they even depart, Rebecca says a stark warning has been issued.

She said: “Just this week, there has been some very alarming news about ice shelves and the fact we now may not be able to reverse or halt the melting.

“Those ice shelves alone could contribute several metres to global sea level rise and imagine how many coastal communities and cities we have around the world.

“So, understanding what’s happening in Antarctica is relevant to what’s happening all around the world, including here in Scotland and in Dundee.”

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