Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Project to measure sea temperatures from pole to pole reaches Antarctica

Santiago, Mar 30 (EFE).- Chilean scientists have added Antarctica to the Pole to Pole project, which seeks to compile data on the temperature variations of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans throughout the Western Hemisphere.

As part of the Antarctica Scientific Expedition (ECA) 55, carried out between January and March of this year, the specialists for the first time placed a series of biometric sensors to take the temperature of waters surrounding the frozen continent.

This initiative has joined the international effort of more than 30 researchers from different countries of the Americas to compile data in specific areas and share them to create hemispheric data bases to work with.

The scientist of the Center of Dynamic Research of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile and professor at the University of Concepcion, Dr. Erasmo Macaya, placed eight sensors on the rocky coast of Fildes Peninsula on King George Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Fotografía de archivo personal tomada a comienzos de 2019 que muestra un sistema para medir la temperatura del mar alrededor de La Antártida. Científicos chilenos incorporaron la Antártida al proyecto continental “De polo a polo”, que busca recopilar datos de las variaciones en la temperatura de los océanos Atlántico y Pacífico a lo largo de todo América. EFE

The small sensors are installed inside mollusk shells or simulate the form of some oceanic limpets, and were placed in both sunny and shady locations to compare the different temperatures of each place.

One of the particularities of these devices, Macaya told EFE, is that the data registered can be compiled through mobile technology.

“To download data of this kind, scientists usually have to extract the sensor and connect it to a computer with a specific reader…this technology is comparatively much friendlier,” the Chilean researcher said.

“It facilitates access to the information and avoids losses of what has been recorded. All that is needed is to have the application on the cell phone and take it to the device,” he said.

This project, which already includes the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Colombia, Canada and the Virgin Islands, will for the first time provide Pole to Pole with data from the waters of Antarctica.

These sensors will be withdrawn in February 2020 by Dr. Macaya, at which time enough data will have been collected to begin work together with the other countries involved in the hemispheric project.

“The idea is that the information compiled will help nations have the right guidelines for the conservation of biodiversity,” the scientist said.

The project dubbed the Pole to Pole Marine Biodiversity Observation Network of the Americas (P2P-MBON), seeks to facilitate the integration of biological and environmental data for countries along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the Americas, according to the official Web site of the project.