The end of 2013 was very important to the Brazilian Antarctic community. The Federal government, through the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq) and the Brazilian Antarctic Programme (PROANTAR) organised a
“call for proposals” for Antarctic and Southern Ocean research aiming to finance new projects for the next 3 years (2014-2016). After the review and classification process, 20 news projects were selected in various fields, such as: Archaeology; Biotechnology and Microbiology; Meteorology; Glaciology; and Oceanography.
The Brazilian High Latitude Oceanography Group (Grupo de Oceanografia de Altas Latitudes, or, GOAL) based at the Federal University of Rio Grande-FURG was quite successful and approved 3 major proposals (INTERBIOTA, NAUTILUS, BALEIAUS), which are likely to lead the Brazilian Southern Ocean Research efforts for the next few years and will contribute to SOOS.
The INTERBIOTA Project (E. R. Secchi, C. R. Mendes, PIs) will comparatively look at trophic interactions in three distinct regions around the Antarctic Peninsula as well as evaluate the vulnerability of those ecosystems to the ongoing global environmental changes.
The NAUTILUS Project ( M. M. Mata, R. Kerr, PIs) will join the international efforts to understand aspects of the Antarctic Bottom Water transformation, variability and export along its path from the Weddell Sea to the South Scotia Sea. The project aims to maintain two mooring sites, one in the northwestern Weddell Sea and one just to the north of the South Scotia Ridge near Elephant Island. Moreover, the project will also contribute to the investigation of the net CO2 fluxes and other carbonate parameters in the study region, which are also aligned with the activities of the Brazilian Ocean Acidification Research Group.
Finally, the BALEIAS Project (L. Dalla Rosa, PI) focuses on the spatial and temporal variability patterns of cetacean distribution, abundance and habitat use around the Antarctic Peninsula. Among other activities the project will maintain the decade-long cetacean monitoring efforts in Gerlache and Bransfield Straits.
The Brazilian Polar Research Vessels, the Alte. Maximiano
As well as being fully funded by the Brazilian government, GOAL activities will benefit from the support from both Brazilian Polar Research Vessels, the Alte. Maximiano and the Ary Rongel.
For more information please visit PROANTAR or contact Mauricio Mata.
mauricio dot m dot mata at gmail dot com