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Antarctic Ocean Diversity

Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML)
The Southern Ocean surrounding the remote and frozen Antarctic continent is the focus of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML). This massive area of ocean is poorly understood and deserving of tremendous research effort. The Southern Ocean is characterized by the world's largest current system, funneling more water than all the rivers in the world. CAML research covers this wide geographic region, from the oceanic abyss to coastal ice shelves. These areas are isolated from the biodiversity of the rest of the world's oceans. As a result, Census scientists expect to discover an unusually large number of new species in the frigid Southern Ocean.

Specialized research vessels such as this one are necessary to bring researchers and their equipment to some of the world's most remote marine regions. They must be capable of cracking through thick sheets of ice to get to research sites.

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