In this issue, new Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.
Wonderful World The
Wonderful World The science behind the wonder of nature by Helen Czerski Physicist and oceanographer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, UCL, Helen is also a BBC presenter, and a speaker and writer about the science of everyday life, the atmosphere and oceans PHOTO: ANDREY POLIVANOV OCEAN WAVES For centuries, seafarers have traversed stormy seas, returning (if they were lucky) to tell tales of monstrous waves and the dangers of life atop the raging deep. But modern science sees something else in the snarling white water, which even the saltiest of seadogs could not: the hidden world of bubbles created just beneath every breaking wave, and the global role the seas play in helping to keep Earth’s weather engine running. Most breaking waves are out at sea, far from the coasts, created as the wind pushes across the ocean surface. Once wind speed exceeds 20mph, these waves can grow to be big and steep enough to break. A sailor sees the resulting white patch of foam on the surface, but not the vast numbers of bubbles generated beneath: small, transient capsules of the atmosphere captured by the sea. Those bigger than 1mm across form short-lived plumes in the top metre of water, turning it turquoise as the sun glints off them. But billions of microscopic bubbles, up to 1,000 times smaller, form deep long-lasting plumes that can drift for hours beneath the ocean surface before they rise up and break out once again. These drifting bubbles act as an extra contact area between the atmosphere and the ocean, and allow more time and space for a physical and chemical reaction between air and water. The seas effectively take in a deeper breath wherever there’s a big storm. This is particularly important when it comes to carbon dioxide – by absorbing the gas, the oceans also do humanity a favour by reducing our impact on the atmosphere. As you look out at a seascape with the water covered in foam patches you’re looking at the ocean giving back to the atmosphere. When a bubble bursts it spits tiny particles upwards, which can contain salt, organic plant matter and algae or bacteria. These tiny atmospheric particles attract water vapour in the air, with the droplets ultimately forming the clouds that you see in the sky. Dramatic and uncomfortable though they may be for sailors, breaking waves are a critical connection between the planet’s surface and our protective atmosphere. Individual bubbles may be tiny but trillions of them together affect the whole planet. 74
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.