– The first camera was put in place a couple of weeks ago, so now we’re up and running. Wins Christina Pedersen at the Norwegian Polar Institute. She is the project manager at «Troll Monitor Network».
Troll is the Norwegian research station in Antarctica. It is located in a mountainous area 23 miles from the coast. Here there is ice on all sides. And huge numbers of birds. First of all aPetrel in Antarctica And a snow petrel.
But when the researchers got there, it was empty. Except for four dead chickens.
– I would have known more if we had a camera there
– If we had a camera deployed in their embassy, Marin at that time, we would have known more than we do today. Then, we’ll have more information about what happened before the researchers came to the empty bird mountain, Pedersen says.
The Polar Institute has conducted research Collections of seabirds at Svartamarin since the 1980s. The petrel finds its food in the Southern Ocean, but has a base far inland. So it is more interesting for researchers.
– Now we’ll have automatic monitoring systems in a couple of places here, so we’ll also gain better knowledge of the marine environment at sea,” Pedersen says.
The largest investment in Antarctica to date
More cameras on the way. Weather stations will be set up, sensors will be deployed in the ice and platforms with instruments will be placed in the Arctic Ocean. Data must be collected from the atmosphere, ice, land and sea.
– Today we have little monitoring data from this area. The new network will be very important for giving researchers more knowledge about it Climate and environmental changes in the south. We’re getting more complete access to the data, says Pedersen.
price is 300 million Norwegian kroner. The Research Council of Norway provided 157m of this. The rest comes from the actors involved in this collaboration – Five Norwegian and three international.
According to the Norwegian Polar Institute, this is the largest Norwegian investment in Antarctic research since Troll was founded in 1990.
A radar-equipped drone measures ice and snow
At the research institute NORCE, a new drone service is taking shape. This will be an important piece in the new network.
– we It will install two radar systems on two large drones to collect data over large parts of the Norwegian region of Dronning Maud Land. Division director Ron Sturvold says the range will be about 1,500 kilometers from Troll.
With the new equipment, they can measure exactly how much ice and snow is in this area. The melting of ice and snow and the “rise” of snow are accurately recorded. They will also be able to see how quickly blocks of ice are moving out to sea.
In addition, radars will be able to measure how thick the snow layer, which is located on top of the ice, is.
– Here we will be able to see the rainfall in the region year after year, about 200 years back in time. The snow and ice measurements will be able to give researchers a good basis for making predictions for future developments, Storvold says.
The ozone layer, as well as carbon dioxide and methane levels will also be measured progressively with the new system. And on the coast, plankton production will be recorded with a camera that can distinguish between 250 colours.
– Today measurements of some of this are being made in Troll. But when we can now work over a large area with two advanced radar and camera systems, researchers will have access to entirely new data that will be very important for international climate research, says Storvold.
Important to the United Nations Climate Panel
The monitoring network should be completed in 2027.
– With the new network up and running, we will be able to get continuously updated data from Antarctica. It would give researchers insight they don’t have today. We will be able to make much better predictions about the developments that lie ahead, says Ole Arve Misund, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute.
– Is it necessary to spend a lot of money on this?
– Definitely worth every penny. As a polar country, Norway has a special responsibility, also in international research collaborations. It’s a collaboration that’s now going to be more comprehensive.
Do you have an example of how this would be useful internationally?
– Among other things, he will go directly to the work of the UN Climate Commission. Evolution in Antarctica is very pivotal when it comes to changes in sea level and global ecosystems.
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