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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

NASA recruits elephant seal to investigate climate change



Houston, Dec. 11- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, used a  elephant  seal with a funny cap to measure the effects of climate change.

According to the information published on the website of the entity, the animal, equipped with a special sensor similar to a small hat, swam for more than 4,800 kilometers over three months.

Much of the trip of the elephant  seal took place through the waters of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), one of the most important in our climate system because it facilitates the exchange of heat and other properties between the oceans that unites, " The American space agency declared.

The problem with the ACC, however, is that, in addition to being extensive and being located in a particularly remote and inhospitable part of our planet, it is quite turbulent. This makes it one of the most difficult currents to observe and monitor, which is why NASA recruited for work a elephant seal that swims in these waters.

The sensors used in the research place them on the animals' heads according to the established ethical standards, when they reach the ground to reproduce or shed the skin.

 When elephants seals return to land the next time, scientists remove the 'hats' to retrieve their data. If for some reason, the animal cannot be located, the sensor will fall with the skin shed in the next season.

During the three months that the experiment lasted, the animal made about 80 daily dives at depths between 500 meters and one kilometer. "Meanwhile, he collected a continuous stream of data that has provided a new insight into how heat moves vertically between ocean layers in this volatile region."

The information obtained by the elephant seal is valuable and helps in the process of understanding the amount of solar heat that the ocean is capable of absorbing, NASA explained. (RHC)  (Source / RT)