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In one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, the southernmost part of Chile's Patagonia region, scientists are studying whales, dolphins and algae in order to help predict how climate change will affect the world's oceans.The fjord currently produces the kind of conditions that should be seen in other marine systems in the next few decades, when dramatic changes are expected in the environment due to increased carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere and the melting of glaciers.The researchers are analyzing the chemical, physical and biological variables of the waters, which show lower levels of pH, salinity and calcium, especially in the shallowest areas, as a consequence of climate change.The chilly fjord waters provide one of the most productive marine habitats in the world, where sardines and krill can be found in huge numbers.The scientists are set to return to the area during the Southern Hemisphere winter to obtain new samples – and to see what other secrets the waters in this area of Chilean Patagonia can reveal.
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