“The melting of glaciers in Antarctica matters in Mexico because it leads to an increase in sea level, bringing Cancun, Quintana Roo and Villahermosa, Tabasco to the top of the list of potential disappearance”, said Mexican scientist Sandra Guzman, who just returned from an international expedition across the Antarctic region.
As a member of the Australian initiative Homeward Board that seeks to strengthen the leadership of women in science, Sandra Guzmán is part of an expedition featuring 80 women scientists that study the effects of climate change and the actions that can be implemented in order to address the problem.
Sandra Guzman explained that her work, which lasted about 20 days in the Antarctic Peninsula, where they have established research bases in different countries, was to document the effects of climate change, exchanging data with other researchers established in the region.
Among the findings, stands out the melting of ice in the Antarctic Peninsula, caused by the increase in temperature on the planet, increasingly accelerated, resulting in large portions of ice that have already disappeared and cannot be not recovered.
This, together with the fact that the region concentrates 80% of the world’s freshwater reserves, results in the melting of derived ice in fresh water mixed with salt water from the sea, which translates into Efficiency of reserves aquifers of the planet. There is also a substantial reduction of Antelia penguins, who die of hunger because they feed on Crilláceas, a crustacean which fishing is currently carried out in a massive way.
Another observation made by Sandra Guzmán during the expedition, is that Antarctica is the driest and coldest continent on the planet, where there is no rain, just snow. People living in research bases said that they have registered evidence of an exponential change and more radical phenomena could be observed in the next ten years.
Efforts have been made to avoid the increase of tourism in the region, which ten years ago amounted to about 15,000 visitors per year, and in recent years it has come to account for up to 70,000.
The researcher highlights the importance of Mexico being part of the Antarctic Treaty, of which it is a member in several countries.
“Maybe many people will ask what Mexco has to do with that, but only to give an example, with the melting of the glaciers, the sea level is constantly elevating in cities such as Cancún and Villahermosa, which are on the map of potential dissapearence,” declared Sandra Guzmán.
Sandra Guzmán, who is currently looking for ways to make corporations invest in trying to stop climate change, added that Mexico should care about the changes that have been detected in Antarctica, which generate transformations in the precipitation system at a global level, and Mexico is a vulnerable focus to events with hurricanes, with which these alterations can grow in number and intensity.
“Although we are too late to save many of the ecosystems that are already in severe danger, we can still do something to recover them, to recover ecosystems”, added Sandra Guzmán, and reaffirmed that in the world there are many women who, like her, perform important actions to combat the effects of climate change.