Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A Colombian mission to Antarctica is analyzing signs of climate change

The ARC Simón Bolívar ship of the Colombian Navy is taking samples of water in Antarctica and advancing scientific research on climate change between large blocks of ice and cold.

The 10th Colombian Antarctic Expedition headed to the borders of the continent, exploring remote and almost virgin areas inhabited by penguins, whales, and the occasional seal.

“Antarctica is the refrigerator of the world,” Pablo Araujo, a researcher at the Central University of Ecuador, told AFP on board the ship with 39 researchers, 11 Colombian projects, and 9 cooperation projects internationally with 4 countries.

“What we want to see is how climate change affects the world’s refrigerator and how it affects the total amount of nutrients in the ocean,” said the white-coated scientist.

On board the ship, the Ecuadorian scientist conducted a project to model the Antarctic ecosystem using’machine learning’ techniques, a branch of artificial intelligence focused on the study of statistical algorithms.

A Colombian Mission To Antarctica Is Analyzing Signs Of Climate Change

AFP

With the use of these models and satellite images, researchers study the dynamics of greenhouse gas fluxes in the Antarctic ecosystem.

Meanwhile, a Colombian work team threw a battery of Niskin bottles into the sea, which were used to take water samples.

“Once they come to the surface, these samples are taken for later analysis,” said Alexis Grattz, a researcher at the General Maritime Directorate, wrapped in a thick red raincoat, gloves, and a hat.

In the Ecuadorian scientific station, located at Punta Fort Williams in Greenwich Island, the General Maritime Directorate installed a portable meteorological station to record the oscillations of the atmospheric pressure in the area.

A Colombian Mission To Antarctica Is Analyzing Signs Of Climate Change

These measurements were made to “determine and help to better understand these differences in sea level, understanding them as (…) an important indicator of the evolution of climate change,” said the researcher from the Colombian General Maritime Directorate, Maritza Moreno.

On the other hand, a Turkish mission studied the level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Antarctic soil. “I collected sediment samples,” said Burak Karacik, a professor at Istanbul Technical University.

“I will analyze those sediment samples for persistent organic pollutants, and we will see the effects of people here in this environment,” he added.

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