Research projects seek international collaboration for the study of global warming on the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the southern territory.

After two weeks of work and the participation of more than 100 scientists, two international congresses held in the city of Punta Arenas ended. Both instances had a theme in common: to unify information and efforts to study the effects of climate change in Patagonia and Antarctica, areas considered highly vulnerable to recent atmospheric variations.

The first activity, called CoastCarb, brought together close to 50 researchers in person at the Dreams Hotel in Punta Arenas. During five days, experts from Belgium, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Poland, Canada, England, Argentina and Chile combined data on the current conditions of the southern hemisphere, in order to create an information system on the climatic phenomenon that will enable the development of dynamic models of aquatic ecosystems.

“This assembly allowed us, as researchers and programmers, to establish the appropriate measurements to study high-latitude ecosystems in Patagonia and Antarctica. Once the work teams are established, CoastCarb’s task from now on is to move towards more efficient management models,” explained Dr. Bernd Krock, a researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI, Germany) and one of the speakers at the CoastCarb congress in Punta Arenas.

The second instance took place at the premises of the IDEAL CENTER of the Austral University of Chile (UACH) in Punta Arenas, where the DYNAMO project meeting was held. Scientists from Germany, Argentina, Chile, and the United States are collaborating to develop a marine-terrestrial observation network within and along the Beagle Channel and adjacent areas of the Darwin Mountain Range.

Currently, there are four platforms that provide information to this network: the FerryBox system, which collects oceanographic data from the Punta Arenas-Puerto Williams route; an oceanographic anchor installed in the Yendegaia Sound; an oceanographic buoy and meteorological station in front of the Ushuaia Bay; and, recently, the incorporation of a new Argentine scientific vessel that will carry out transects at specific points in the Beagle Channel.

“The main objective of this DYNAMO meeting was to plan cooperation strategies between institutions, so that the initiatives for the study of climate change in Patagonia are maintained over time. We hope to meet next year to see how we can extend this network of cooperation. It is a great motivation to continue working together,” commented Diego Filún, AWI researcher and coordinator of the activity.

“Our mission is to generate excellent science by strengthening our international collaboration networks. Having been guests of scientists from Europe and Latin America reinforces our commitment to science in high-latitude natural laboratories,” said Dr. Humberto González, director of the IDEAL Center and host of both instances.