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News > Science and Tech

Scientists to Analyze Cloud Formation Process From Antarctica

  • Penguins on Deception Island, Antarctica, 2023.

    Penguins on Deception Island, Antarctica, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @PolarCSIC

Published 13 February 2023

Clouds determine the solar radiation that reaches the Earth's surface and play a fundamental role in regulating global temperature.

On Monday, Spain's Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (ICM-CSIC) reported that some thirty scientists will travel to Antarctica aboard the oceanographic vessel Hesperides to learn about the interactions between the ocean, ice, and atmosphere.


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As part of the Polar-Change project, this expedition will tour Antarctica until March 21, and will be led by the Barcelona Institute of Marine Sciences. The team is made up of chemists, physicists, biologists, and technologists of 14 different nationalities from the four continents.

The Hesperides and the scientists will navigate around the Antarctic Peninsula and will travel to the north of the Weddell Sea to investigate how the particles contained in air samples are formed, explained Manuel Dall'Osto, the ICM-CSIC researcher.

They will focus on the study of the sources, composition and dynamics of marine aerosols in Antarctic environments, with the aim of relating the emission processes of these aerosols with polar marine microorganisms, which inhabit the ocean and the ice.

Aerosols are tiny particles in suspension that can be of natural or anthropogenic origin. They play a very important role in regulating the planet's climate as they act as condensation nuclei for the drops that will end up forming clouds.

In turn, clouds determine the solar radiation that reaches the earth's surface by partially reflecting the sun's rays. This process plays a fundamental role in regulating the global temperature.

The CSIC researchers emphasize that it is necessary to deepen the study of the chemical and biological composition of the water, as well as to analyze the processes of cloud formation, given that global warming is rapidly affecting the pole zones.

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