‘Boaty McBoatface’ sets sail under new name - but the internet is still attached to the viral moniker

Boaty McBoatface, reluctantly known as the RRS Sir David Attenborough, has docked in London ahead of the Cop26 summit kicking off in Glasgow on Sunday.

The 129 meter-long polar research ship has stopped at Greenwich to allow the public to see it and to mark the start of the climate summit before going on its maiden voyage to Antarctica in November.

The £200m ship’s name was suggested in 2016 after the idea of Boaty McBoatface was floated by BBC presenter James Hand.

Hand’s suggestion went viral, leading to the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) website crashing as people rushed to get their vote in.

Boaty McBoatface topped the poll with 124,109 votes, winning by a landslide compared to the second most popular name, Poppy-Mai, which had just 34,371 votes.

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Other suggestions included naming the boat after explorer Henry Worsley, which received 15,231 votes. Another incredible suggestion, It’s Bloody Cold Here, received 10,679 votes.

However, despite the public poll the then science minister Jo Johnson said the ship needed a more “suitable” name.

The option to name the boat after David Attenborough received 10,284 votes, coming fifth in the poll. However, with Attenborough’s 90th birthday falling on the same year as the competition, it seemed only right to name the ship after the much-loved veteran broadcaster and naturalist.

Despite the nation’s love for Attenborough — Boaty McBoatface is one thing the public simply cannot let go of.

ScotRail also joined in the fun today, and posted a picture of one of their trains emblazoned with “Trainy McTrainface”:

The name Boaty McBoatface lives on in the form of autonomous underwater vehicles that can dive to great depths under massive ice shelves to help scientists with their research.

Speaking aboard the ship today, the government’s chief scientific adviser launched a joint statement with other global scientific advisors outlining the need for “urgent climate action” ahead of Cop26.

The statement says it is still possible to limit warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, but this will only be made possible with a “steep reduction” in global emissions by 2030 and if we reach global net-zero around 2050.

Stabilizing the climate, which could limit sea-level rises and the likelihood of extreme weather events, will require “significant behavioural, socioeconomic and technological transformations” across the world.

The scientists call on global leaders to put in place long-term strategies that will “keep the 1.5 degree temperature goal alive”, increase international collaboration towards that common goal, and establish new initiatives to align and expand research and innovation.

According to the British Antarctic Survey, the RRS Sir David Attenborough is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. The ship will aid climate efforts as it will help scientists to learn more about polar life, Vallance told Sky News.

Regardless of what people want to call the ship, there’s no denying it has a very important job to do once it reaches Antarctica.

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