During a one-year period, Dr. Luis Miguel Pardo, researcher at the Center for the Dynamic Research of Marine Ecosystems of High Latitudes (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh), collected data every thirty minutes from a Southern Ocean location at a depth of ten meters.
What temperature was recorded on November 6, 2017 at a depth of 10 meters at an island off the Antarctic Peninsula? Only one scientist in the country could answer that question, and just by looking at the records from his CTD, a probe that measures various parameters, including conductivity related to salinity, temperature, and depth.
This is the work of Dr. Luis Miguel Pardo, a researcher at the Center for the Dynamic Research of Marine Ecosystems of High Latitudes (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh) , who employed underwater sensing equipment at a depth of ten meters in Fildes Bay [at an island off the Antarctic Peninsula] to obtain complete records of the temperature and salinity, by sampling and recording every thirty minutes.
“I can safely say that these are the first complete annual records of temperature and salinity taken at the same time at several points along the Antarctic Peninsula,” said Dr. Pardo, who installed another similar set of sensors in the vicinity of the San Isidro lighthouse in the Magallanes region.
The researcher indicated that the measuring probe was located in the Southern Ocean with an anchor bolt during the Antarctic Scientific Expedition (53). “The equipment was installed during the first IDEAL Center campaign in January, 2016. The record we have today is very detailed. It provides us with the daily, weekly, and monthly variations in the environment,” he explained.
These records provide key information on salinity and temperature parameters not only in summer, but also in winter, when researchers usually do not carry out research on the White Continent, due to its inaccessibility during that season.
At the depth in which the equipment is placed, significant environmental variations may occur. “One of the observations in the time series we have shows that the temperature in Antarctica during the year varies more than in the sub-Antarctic zone,” says Dr. Pardo.
“We will continue to collect data and will allow us to see whether temperatures will increase, decrease, or remain stable. That information will help us determine whether the predictions of climate change are correct or not”, he noted.