Australia's high-tech research ship has sailed from Hobart on its maiden scientific voyage, hoping to help discover more pieces in the climate change jigsaw.
The CSIRO's Singapore-built RV Investigator arrived in Hobart in September, and has since been fitted with millions of dollars worth of equipment, and completed extensive sea trials.
The director of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System, Tim Moltmann, said deep water moorings would be deployed in the Southern Ocean to take readings of ocean temperature, salinity and acidity every hour for a year
"This is equipment that we measure interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean, and then the surface ocean and the deep ocean. It's big science," he said.
Voyage leader Professor Tom Trull said a critical area had been targeted. "It's globally important because it's a place where the ocean mixes very deeply, and where water leaves the Southern Ocean and floods out underneath the rest of the global ocean, so what happens here matters to the whole world," he said.
Twenty crew members and 30 scientists were onboard when the Investigator left Hobart.
The voyage will take 10 days
CSIRO sources funding to keep Investigator at sea
The CSIRO is positive about securing more funding from private groups for more sea voyages.
The Investigator has federal funding for 180 days a year, but is able to operate at sea for 300 days of the year.
The CSIRO's Toni Moate said she was optimistic about private money, but was not making an announcement yet.
"We have been talking to a number of research organisations and different people that we're looking to see if we can partner with them and certainly there's been some interest in that," she said.