Hublot and the Polar Pod expedition enter into a partnership. The Polar Pod is an emission-free vessel developed by polar explorer Jean-Louis Etienne to explore the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. This global ocean is one of the largest carbon sinks on Earth, with an extremely high level of marine biodiversity that is as yet virtually unknown. Research of this kind is a first in this ocean.
As part of its HUBLOT Xplorations program, the Swiss watch manufacturer enters into a new partnership with the “Polar Pod” expedition. The zero-emission vessel Polar Pod, which will be used to explore the waters of the “Furious Fifties”, was invented by French polar explorer and environmental activist Jean-Louis Etienne. The name “Furious Fifties” for the area in the Southern Ocean between latitudes 50 and 60 South, refers to the strong winds and high waves that prevail in this region. To withstand all weather conditions at sea, the Polar Pod is designed as a kind of vertical ship with a height of 100 meters and a draft of 80 meters. 150 tons of ballast is used for stabilization. Polar Pod has no propulsion of its own and is designed to drift with the ocean currents around Antarctica. The energy for vessel operations is provided by six wind turbines.
The Southern Ocean, the world’s fourth largest ocean, stores about 50% of the carbon dioxide absorbed by the Earth’s oceans as a whole and therefore plays a central role in global climate. Its waters merge with the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and represent an immense reservoir of marine biodiversity. So far, however, science can only draw on very few measurements and observations in this part of the world. The Polar Pod will be equipped with extremely powerful instruments and will continuously collect valuable data on biodiversity, ocean currents, effects of man-made pollution, atmosphere-ocean exchanges and the corresponding influence on climate.
It is planned that the data obtained will be made available to the entire international scientific community. The French research center CNRS, together with the French research institutions CNES (French Space Agency) and Ifremer (French Marine Exploration Institute), is coordinating the investigations, in which researchers from 43 institutions and universities in 12 countries are actively participating.
Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2022 so that the Polar Pod can be launched in late 2023. The expedition will take place over three years, with the eight crew members being relieved every two months.
In addition, Hublot is setting itself the goal of going behind the scenes and keeping an eye on all the preliminary work for the expedition via video, as well as Jean-Louis Etienne’s visionary work, in order to let as many people as possible know about it and to ensure a corresponding worldwide response in the media and social networks.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal
Website: Polar Pod
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