| Dávid Harangozó

Hungarian data hunters in Chile

December 5, 2017

Hungarian researchers work under extreme weather conditions on Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano on Earth, in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile from next year on, the expedition will have its own research center on the spot to analyze samples.

Since 2012, Hungarian researchers have been conducting a program to operate the highest altitude measuring system on the Earth in the region of the highest volcano on the globe, the Ojos del Salado in northern Chile. The aim is to monitor the long-term environmental changes including ice melting due to warming. Melted waters can reduce critical drinking water problems in the mineral resources area.

The Chilean Ambassador to Hungary, Verónica Chahín stressed that regardless the huge geographical distance, there is a point of connection that could give a basis for establishing a varied system of relations between Chile and Hungary. “Hungarian researchers discovered a place six years ago that can be considered as an open laboratory,” she said.

As science manager Zsolt Heiling, the organizer of the research program explained at a presentation at the Embassy of Chile in Budapest this Tuesday, this expedition is unique in the world and created a lot of interest in Chile, itself. He announced that – at the request of the local government of the Atacama region – an Environmental Research and Technology Center, operated by Hungarian experts, will provide a long-term, permanent home presence in Vallenar to Hungarian experts. From then on, samples that are recovered by the Hungarian ‘data hunters’ under extreme weather conditions at high altitude can be analyzed on the spot.

According to geographer Dr. Balázs Nagy, leader of the research program, their goal is discovering the effects of global warming in the highest desert and tundra of the Earth with particular focus on the changes in water and ice presence.


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