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EXPEDITION TO ANTARCTICA

Journalist: Myriam Sainson  Date: November 16, 2011  Region: Sherbrooke

A team of researchers from the University of Sherbrooke,rythmebeat.com/files/cultural/NW8F6B441A0DC5BBF25446.jpg guided by Alain Royer - Professor and researcher in the Applied Geomatics Department and researcher at the Centre d'application et de recherches en télédétection (CARTEL), accompanied by Alexandre Langlois – Post-graduate of the University of Sherbrooke, Patrick Cliché - research engineer at CARTEL, Minoslav Chum -  researcher from the  University of Sherbrooke, Florent Dupont - doctorat in co-tutelle with University of Grenoble and Ghilsian Picard of the University of Grenoble.

These gentlemen will leave in mid-December, for two months, on an expedition to Antarctica, on a mission referred to as “bi-polar”… to “collect new data and complete the analysis of the impact of global warming in the pole regions”. Alain Royer goes into this new adventure which is the second of its kind, the first having taken place in March 2011, to the Barnes ice-cap in Antarctica, a trip taken with the same team as mentioned above. For him: ''The ice-cap melts at the glimpse of eye at the rate of a meter per year on the coasts.  We are looking to develop new methods to analyse its evolution by tele-detection''.

You will recall that during the last 30 years, Arctic has experienced a rate of warming which is two times faster than the rest of the globe and in Antarctica, there is a reported drop in temperature.This expedition will take the form of the two following phases: the first one, with a difficult and endurance-driven journey of 2,500 km for more than 10 days before arriving to the “snowline” and then, once inside this territory, they will face a hike of 1100 km more before reaching the Concordia Dôme, which will be the location of the base for the team -- ''in the middle of a white desert'', at a temperature of -30 C. The return trip is scheduled for February 2012.

To conclude, Alain Royer shares with us his realities: '' The satellites remain the best way to map such huge territories; the geo-physical parameters of the surface are necessary to the understanding of all these changes''. This research represents a first in Antarctica.

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                       Photo courtesy of University of Sherbrooke

 


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