In addition to the exploration of the biodiversity of mosses and lichens, Satoshi Imura has also the important task of maintaining the Open Top Chambers that were installed in 2010 in four sites by Zorigto Namsaraev and Josef Elster. We have placed microsensors to measure temperature and humidity in these OTC and in the control sites. They are programmed to take measurements during one year. However, after one year, their memory is full and they must be replaced.
In November, Elie Verleyen went to the NIPR (Nippon Institute for Polar Research) in Tokyo and took all the necessary material. He showed Imura how to use the reader of the sensors, so that he could send us the data, and how to programme the new sensors for the next season.
In the blog, we already have explained the purpose of the Open Top Chambers:
Here is a picture of the Open Top Chamber on the Utsteinen Ridge. As the plexiglas is transparent, it is hard to see the plastic hexagone. We are always a bit worried that somebody would step on it by accident. Here, the OTC is snow-free. This was not the case of all OTC that Satoshi have visited, unfortunately. Indeed, it is impossible to locate the sensors when the OTC is covered by snow.