• Researchers will install a weather station in Antartica to evaluate climate change

    May 05, 2015

    Scientists of the University of Oviedo will study the snow surface in-situ to establish a melt pattern

     Left to right, Javier Fernández Calleja, Susana del Carmen Fernández Menéndez, Carmen Recondo and Juan José Peón García.

    Oviedo, May 5, 2015. Researchers of the University of Oviedo are working with the international team that will install a weather station in Antarctica to evaluate the impact of the climate change on the polar cap. The group of scientists will collect thermoprecipitation data with the new station, which will also have special sensors installed in great depth to identify how frozen surfaces react to climate change. The mission will go one step further and will have the collaboration of experts in remote sensing who will try to convert the information collected into radar images.

    The members of the international team will also collaborate with the NASA in the process of testing scientific equipment. The extreme weather conditions of the frozen continent are the perfect scenery for the researchers to test certain technological tools that will be included in future space missions to Mars, to collect data of its frozen surface. Experts believe that the characteristics of some Antarctic soils could be similar to the sites where the probes will land, that is why this information may be highly valuable.

    Members of the international team collaborate with the NASA to test the scientific equipment for future missions to Mars.

    Professor Susana del Carmen Fernández, researcher of the Department of Geology will be in charge of collecting the data of the snow surface to try to establish a melt pattern. Professors Javier Fernández Calleja and Carmen Recondo Junto will also work in collaboration with her, taking care of all the matters related to remote sensing. The project, funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, brings together geologists, geographers, physicists and engineers from Spanish, Portuguese, Czech and Russian universities.

    The first of the three scheduled expeditions will take place in December. The exact location of the weather station has not been decided yet and they are considering places like the continental area or the Deception Island. "It is important to guarantee a proper location to prevent the material from suffering damage because the weather conditions are extreme over there", explains Susana Fernández, who will be part of team joining the first expedition at the end of the year.

    Research project: Caracterización y evolución de la cubierta nival y su efecto en el régimen térmico del permafrost y la capa activa en las islas Livingston y Decepción (Antártida). PERMA-SNOW.

    Funding: 250.000 euros of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

    Deadline for development: 3 years.

    Research team

    Universidad de Oviedo. Susana del Carmen Fernández Menéndez, Javier Fernández Calleja, María del Carmen Recondo González y Juan José Peón García.

    Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Miguel Ángel de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ramos, Miguel Ángel Hidalgo Moreno, Manuel Prieto Mateo y Juan Javier Jiménez Cuenca.

    Universidad de Lisboa: Carmen Mora y Gonzalo Vieira.

    Masaryc University (Checoslovaquia). Kamil. Laska, Daniel Nývlt y Filip Hrbácek.

    Universidad de Moscú. Z. Engel

    Co-Investigadores en el proyecto REMS-MSL de NASA: Miguel Ramos y Miguel Ángel de Pablo.

    Imagen banner portada

    Base camp established in the Byers Peninsula. Picture: Javier Cristobo

    Portadas de la ciencia. Actividad Financiada parcialmente por la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología –Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad