Eight researchers from six local universities who were involved in a scientific research expedition to Antarctica safely arrived in Malaysia after completing their 22- day expedition collecting water, algae, invertebrates in the sea, sediment, moss, rocks, pollen and soil samples. They also recorded green house gas readings and geomagnetic data. Pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: Eight researchers from six local universities who were involved in a scientific research expedition to Antarctica safely arrived in Malaysia, today.

In the 22- day expedition, the researchers collected water, algae, invertebrates in the sea, sediment, moss, rocks, pollen and soil samples. They also recorded green house gas readings and geomagnetic data.

The researchers were from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia and International Medical University.

Some of the samples collected were analysed in Antarctica and some were brought to the lab in Malaysia for further analysis.

The samples and reading were used for scientific studies especially those related to biodiversity, climate changes, green house gas and ozone layer.

UiTM Faculty of Electrical Engineering senior lecturer Dr Mohamad Huzaimy Jusoh, who was the team leader, said the participants carried out their own research on various subjects, from climate change to medical studies.

"The results of the studies can generate new knowledge and benefit Malaysians, especially researchers and academicians, to better understand the climate change phenomenon.

"Some of these researches were conducted in the Antarctica as the polar area is suitable for monitoring climate change.

"We also sailed and explored to other sampling locations in Antarctica including Greenwich Island, Deception Island, Darboux Island, Danco Coast, Paradise Bay, Enterprise Island and Trinity Island," he said when met at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, here.

The researchers also visited King Sejong Research Station at King George Island in South Korea.

Huzaimy said the expedition, which started on Jan 18, was not an easy feat as participants had to face various challenges, especially weather and temperature.

"We had to deal with drastic weather changes every three hours. There were times it was calm and then suddenly there was a snowstorm.

"We also had to ensure that our health and equipment were in good condition so that the research could run smoothly." he said.

The findings from the research will be presented at the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research 2016 which will be held from August 20 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur.

The event will be organised by Science and Technology Ministry and Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation.