Publicado el 30 January, 2021 / News

INCAR will participate in an unprecedented scientific mission that will explore the coasts of Chile, Antarctica and Africa for two years

The French sailboat TARA will connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to study the marine microbiome. More than 700 national and foreign researchers participate in the collaboration network behind the initiative.
The French foundation TARA Océan, in collaboration with 36 international and nine Chilean institutions, recently launched an unprecedented scientific mission dedicated to the research of the marine microbiome that will unite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in a campaign aimed at answering the main questions related to climate change and the productivity of our seas.
During this campaign, the scientific sailboat TARA – which set sail last December from the port of Lorient (France) – will be the operations center of a team of approximately 30 Chilean scientists that will contribute to this initiative through specific work on the capacity of the coasts of Chile to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through the CEODOS Program, promoted by a consortium of national centers of excellence and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.
Experts in climate change, marine biology and chemistry, metagenomics, mathematical modeling and artificial intelligence will work together to provide an initial assessment of plankton diversity (from zooplankton to viruses), with oceanographic, genomic, bioinformatics and data science aspects. last generation. With this, it seeks to quantify the physiological state of the organisms responsible for the absorption of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the ocean.
Several of the main centers of excellence in Chile – Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM), Center for Climate and Resilience Science (CR2), Center for Dynamic Research on High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL), Center for Research on Ecosystems of Patagonia (CIEP), Oceanographic Research Center (COPAS Sur-Austral), Genome Regulation Center (CRG), Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR), the International Associated Laboratory “Multiscale Adaptive Strategies” (LIA MAST), and the French Institute for Research in Digital Sciences and Technologies (Inria Chile) -, will carry out an integrated and multidisciplinary observation of the Chilean Ocean, which with its 120,827 km2 of territorial sea is considered a true natural laboratory of the effects of climate change. In addition, a team of scientists in the field will carry out simultaneous experiments at key points in order to generate the first comprehensive database of the entire Chilean coastal territory, which is expected to be repeated every 5 years.
“In general, this mission will provide a more detailed understanding of the main mechanisms that link the microbiome and climate throughout the coast of Chile. The CEODOS program is a long-term initiative that seeks to monitor the Chilean Ocean every five years and thus continue its transition towards the new normal that global change brings, ”explains Camila Fernández, visiting professor at the Department of Oceanography at the University of Concepción, researcher at the CNRS and the INCAR Center, and co-coordinator of the mission in Chile.
“At the beginning of the decade of ocean science, CEODOS and TARA, as well as the associated Go-SEE and OcéanIA projects, represent a historic opportunity to promote robust and multidisciplinary monitoring of marine biodiversity in Chile: with the large amount of data biological, physical-chemical and environmental associated with this ocean microbiome, we have the opportunity to generate unique models and information to understand the Ocean-Climate-Biodiversity relationship in a quantitative way and be an increasingly robust support for decision-making. ”, Assures Alejandro Maass, director of the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of the University of Chile and co-coordinator of the mission in Chile.
Throughout the campaign, and according to the evolution of the Covid-19 sanitary conditions, scientific dissemination activities will be carried out in the cities where the TARA sailboat will make arrests: Punta Arenas (between February 10 and 14), Puerto Montt (between March 18 and 21), Concepción (between April 6 and 10), Valparaíso (between April 20 and 25), Iquique (May 9 and 12) and Antarctica (November and December 2021) .
The human and scientific adventure can be followed through the digital platforms of the TARA Océan Foundation and the Chilean scientific centers.
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Photo credits:
© Maxime Horlaville et Marin le Roux / polaRYSE – # FondationTaraOcéan