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Chile construirá primeiro centro científico no austral Cabo Horn

O Chile construirá o primeiro centro científico em Cabo Horn, o território mais meridional do continente americano, que esconde uma biodiversidade única de pequenas espécies de musgos, líquens e insetos.

Localizado dentro da Reserva da Biosfera Cabo de Horn, em Puerto Williams — a cidade mais meridional do mundo —, o Centro Subantártico Cabo Horn deve estar completamente operativo em 2018.

O Cabo Horn é considerado o “centro mundial de diversidade de briófitas”, explicou nesta terça-feira, em coletiva de imprensa, o pesquisador Ricardo Rozzi sobre estas pequenas plantas que vivem em lugares úmidos.

A apenas cerca de mil quilômetros de distância da Antártica, o Cabo Horn concentra 5% da diversidade mundial de briófitas em uma área que só representa 0,01% da superfície do planeta.

Estas plantas e musgos são tão pequenas que só podem ser observadas com lupas, explica Rozzi, professor da Universidade de North Texas e da Universidade de Magallanes, no Chile, que destaca Cabo Horn como “a principal reserva da biosfera do continente para a pesquisa sobre as mudanças climáticas e a sustentabilidade da vida no planeta”.

A construção do centro faz parte de um plano de trabalho projetado na zona para os próximos dez anos, que será apresentado pelo Chile à Unesco com o objetivo de ampliar o território que foi definido como reserva da biosfera em 2005.

O lugar abriga ecossistemas costeiros considerados essenciais para mitigar o aquecimento global: as florestas de kelp (algas) — que, por seus altos níveis de oxigênio, nutrientes e diversidade marinha, conseguem capturar no processo de fotossíntese uma maior quantidade de dióxido de carbono da atmosfera.

Considerada a rota de comunicação mais ao sul entre os oceanos Pacífico e Atlântico, as águas de Cabo Horn estão entre as mais tempestuosas do planeta e se tornaram cemitério de mais de 10 mil marinheiros e 800 navios desde o século XVII, de acordo com dados da Marinha Chilena.
Fonte: O Globo

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