Members of the scientific expedition of Masaryk University in Brno returned from Antarctica on Wednesday. They spent 83 days there. This was the fifteenth expedition to the Gregor Johann Mendel Czech Science Station. Researchers on the spot collected data and monitored the long-term development of the local environment.
Scientific expedition of Masaryk University Antarctica 2021–22 on James Ross Island.
| Photo: Masaryk University
The expedition did not avoid logistical problems. The Chilean navy’s ship, which was to pick up members of the expedition, did not set sail due to the crew-infected crew. The war in Ukraine also caused problems.
“Under normal circumstances, we would probably turn to a nearby Russian station for help. Given the global situation, we were finally happy to support Uruguayan polar, “said Daniel Nývlt, head of the research program.
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The Antarctic region has been warming for a long time, the first month of this year confirmed the trend. “We experienced an exceptionally warm spring, last year was the third warmest since the beginning of our measurement. The issue of the ozone hole, which is exposed to the great love of ultraviolet radiation, also contributes to this, “said Kamil Kamil.
The main goal of the expedition was to continue long-term monitoring of the Antarctic climate and its glaciers, including frozen soil and water systems. Even because the scientists spent fifteen days more at the station than they originally expected, they completed all tasks. “We were able to make and perform some measurements, which is well above the plan,” said Filip Hrbáček, the leader of this year’s expedition.
Thanks to the favorable weather, researchers were often able to use the services of a drone. They managed to use it to take pictures of a large area. “It wouldn’t work if it snowed a lot. This is how we have a lot of images that will help us create an accurate 3D surface of the relief, “explained researcher Michaela Kňažková.
The researchers also launched a five-year Junior star project. It will focus on long-term changes to permanently frozen soil. For example, they measured the density of snow and found out how much water would form when it dissolved.