Twelve Chilean scientists met to discuss adaptation, mitigation, and governance measures relating to the White Continent. The resulting material will be delivered to Chilean authorities in a final report prior to COP25 (25th United Nations Climate Change conference).

Andrea Navarro, IDEAL Center. Between December 2 and 13 of this year, Chile will host the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP25), the world’s largest environmental summit. There, a group of twelve researchers from national institutions met at the Chilean presidential palace (“La Moneda”) to participate in the workshop, “Adaptation, Mitigation, and Governance of the Cryosphere and Antarctica”.

This activity was led by Dr. Andrés Couve, Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation; and Dr. Humberto González, director of the Research Center – Dynamics of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh) and coordinator of the “Cryosphere-Antarctica” workshop for the COP25 scientific committee.

This workshop worked to identify knowledge gaps related to climate change, as well as proposing guidelines and suggestions for adaptation, mitigation, and governance proposals for the Cryosphere-Antarctica system. The effort include discussion of contents and structure for the report that will be presented to Chilean authorities prior to the summit.

“The increase in temperatures is causing ice masses to decrease around the world. That has to concern us, in a country like Chile, where we are exposed to drought. We have to look at Antarctica from a strategic perspective, as a great sensor of climate change, and see how we can use scientific information to better understand climate phenomena. That will allow us to respond much better to the demands of these global changes,” said Minister Couve.

During the workshop, these scientists discussed the need for Chile to have monitoring and data collection systems to improve climate models in the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic areas. They also stressed the importance of having specialized human resources training in data management, climate modeling, and scientific technological support. The proposals will be integrated in a report that will be used in COP25.

“This is the third workshop we have conducted. The scientific community for the cryosphere and Antarctica is very dedicated and has delivered information of great relevance that, without a doubt, will assist in urgent decisions called for by climate change,” commented Dr. González, director of the IDEAL Center.

This meeting was attended by researchers from the Austral University of Chile (UACh), the University of Magallanes (UMAG), the Andrés Bello University (UNAB), the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACh), the University of Concepción (UdeC), the University of Chile (Uchile), the University of Santiago (USACh), the Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (CEAZA), the Federico Santa María Technical University (USM), the General Water Directorate (DGA) of the Ministry of Public Works, and the Chilean Meteorological Directorate.