April 05, 2021 #SustainableChile #Science and Knowledge.

Climate Change Observatory: Chile seeks to become a global sensor of climate change

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The future of a more sustainable world can be built with information obtained from Chile. That is the objective behind the creation of the Climate Change Observatory, which will consist of a network of sensors along 8,000 kilometers from the city of Visviri in northern Chile to the Glaciar Unión base in Antarctica. This Observatory will allow the production and use of the world's most valuable evidence on climate change, through a network of sensors installed throughout the country.

The data collected by this network will include information on temperatures, precipitation, sea levels, solar radiation, wind speed, among others, and will be made available in an open and standardized manner to contribute to decision-making based on scientific evidence.

As part of this strategy, it was decided that 21 monitoring stations will be installed in Antarctica. On December 4, the first station will be installed at the Union Glacier Base on the white continent.

"Just as astronomical observatories take advantage of the purity of our skies to be the eyes of the world in the exploration of the universe, this climate change observatory will take advantage of our wonderful and unique geography, and our permanent presence in Antarctica, to be the observant and watchful eyes to combat climate change," said President Sebastián Piñera during the launch of this initiative.

Several attributes of Chile make it a suitable environment for this sensor network:

First, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile has become the eyes of the world for observing the universe. Over the past 50 years, Chile has established the conditions to host the most advanced observatories in astronomy.

On the other hand, Chile has the most extensive latitudinal gradient on the planet, covering more than eight thousand kilometers from the north, where precipitation is scarce and the average annual temperature is high, to the south, where precipitation is high and temperatures are low, in addition to the southernmost point of the planet. This coincides with the need for more climate information in the southern hemisphere, expressed by the international community.

Thirdly, Antarctica is one of the most important climate regulators on the planet, a powerful climate modulator in Chile, which influences the productivity of our oceans and the existence of the desert in the north of the country, thus constituting a potential source of climate mitigation and adaptation responses.

These responses are particularly necessary for Chile, a country vulnerable to climate change, although their relevance responds to an urgent challenge for all humanity.

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