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Exploring Changes in Temperature and Humidity in the Cordillera Blanca

In June 2023, PhD student Emily Mazan traveled to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru to collect atmospheric data in Llanganuco Valley and Quilcayhuanca. With the help of researchers from McGill University, Quebec, Canada, Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts, USA, and UNASAM (Universidad Nacional Santiago Antunez de Mayolo), Huaraz, Peru, OSU researchers went to replace batteries and install additional batteries in our network of temperature and humidity sensors. This network of sensors was initiated in 2005 by Rob Hellstrom from Bridgewater State University. 

Two people standing in a rocky field in the mountains, working on equipment on a tripod.
Four people sitting in the shade among bushes on a hill.
Elimy Mazan in the field with a backdrop of snow capped jagged mountains.

Emily studies the data from these sensors to determine how climate change may influence the region. Field observations are essential for understanding localized weather patterns in mountain regions because data is limited. Recent work has determined that temperatures and humidity in Llanganuco have increased, especially at higher elevations. Understanding these changes is vital for understanding glacier retreats, shifting hydrological and ecological patterns, and potential impacts on communities in low-lying areas.