Researching ways to preserve the atmosphere, and air quality in particular, is one of the Air Liquide Foundation’s missions. The Foundation is providing support to the Under The Pole III expedition’s research program as it investigates dimethyl sulfide emissions from coral reefs in French Polynesia. This gas plays a vital role in creating cloud cover, and thus in climate change. The Foundation is providing €120,000 for the purchase of equipment, including two diving suits equipped with rebreathers and two underwater scooters.
On February 15, the Under the Pole III (UTP III) team held an event at the Maison des Océans in Paris to showcase past and future achievements. That evening, Ghislain Bardout, co-founder and diver, presented the film Lumière sur l’Arctique [Light on the Arctic], which was shot during the first phase of UTP III and will soon be broadcasted on the Arte channel. He also launched the second phase of the expedition in the Pacific, which will involve a stop in French Polynesia.
In the coming months, researchers who study coral reefs in the region will be able to take advantage of the expedition’s skills and technology. The expertise of the Under The Pole divers and a system for real-time communication with the scientists aboard the research vessel will give us more insight into these mesophotic reefs, located 30-150 meters below the surface. The samples taken will be analyzed by a consortium of French, Australian and American scientific organizations under the direction of Laetitia Hédouin, Head of Research at CNRS in French Polynesia.