Chilean scientists who are studying organisms in remote areas of the Earth are urging leaders to intensify efforts to address climate change.
A recent expedition to investigate harmful organisms in the environment and their impact was delayed for a year by the coronavirus epidemic. Climate change.
Chile’s Magallanes region—on the southern tip of South America where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet—is known as the “end of the world” and extends from Punta Arenas through the Magallanes Strait to the Beagle Channel.
The scientists aboard the oceanographic research vessel Cabo De Hornos were able to sail through cliff-lined straits, past glaciers, and soaring birds. Their focus was on the water, which has lower levels than other seas or oceans, especially in its shallowest parts.
Scientists predict that the same conditions found in the water will be found in other parts of the globe in the future, as climate change continues to impact.
Jose Luis Iriarte who led the expedition said that the regional plans for adaptation and mitigation to climate change were out of date in relation to what is happening in nature.
“The environment is changing faster than we as society are responding to it.”
The scientific mission paid special attention to the “red tides”—harmful algal bloomsThis can make the sea turn red.
They were first discovered in Magallanes half a century ago. Since then, they have been responsible for 23 deaths and poisoning more than 200 people.
Global warming has also caused melting glaciers to affect this area.
Iriarte said that it is not known how microorganisms and organisms will react to these effects.
The expedition made 14 stops, each one taking the opportunity to take a photograph. water samplesYou can use a piece called a rosette to get to different levels, up to 200m deep.
Another piece of equipment was used for soil samples collection, sometimes at depths of more than 300 m.
The scientists also searched the beaches for molluscs and algae.
Last bastion for biodiversity
Rodrigo Hucke, a marine biologist and one of 19 scientists on this expedition, spent hours scanning water’s surface from the highest point of the boat.
He would signal a distant whale and then jump in a small motorboat to get as close to it as possible. This was to collect its faeces with the goal of making changes to its diet.
Hucke claims that governments have been slow to act in the past when it comes the oceans, which make up 70% of the planet’s surface.
He hopes the next UN Climate Change Conference—COP27 in Egypt—will mark a true global transformation in how the oceans are managed.
Hucke stated that “All of this must change by 2022, and there must be a concrete decision to move toward profound policies of transformation in the way we humans do things.”
He is concerned that this area could become “one the last bastions for biodiversity on Earth.”
After the nine-day mission, it was finally time to return to the laboratories to analyze the data.
Wilson Castillo (a biochemistry student) said, “I think that we’re a voice of what Nature cannot say,” and was the youngest member to the expedition at 24.
© 2021 AFP
Chilean scientists study climate change at the “end of the world” (2021, December 29).
Retrieved 29 December 2021
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