Biologists from three Brazilian universities are beginning this week the first expedition of researchers from the country to the Arctic, on a nine-day trip to the archipelago of Svalbard, belonging to Norway.
The team will collect samples of plants, fungi and microorganisms, with the aim of better understanding the connections between species from the two poles of the planet.
As a bonus, says Paulo Câmara, a researcher at UnB (University of Brasília) and one of the members of the expedition, the journey could initiate Brazil's integration into studies considered strategic from a geopolitical point of view.
"Brazil has been a polar country for more than 40 years, thanks to the continuity of Brazilian Antarctic research throughout this period. Environmental changes in the Arctic affect the whole world, including us, and have repercussions on international trade and security ", he argues, noting that part of the Brazilian territory is in the northern hemisphere (above the Equator) and, therefore, is closer to the North Pole than the South Pole.
The team's experience in Antarctic territory should help them in the study of the so-called bipolar species, which are present at both ends of the globe, but not in the intermediate regions of the Earth.
Translated by Cassy Dias