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Russian scientists to start Arctic expedition in fall

May 03, 2018/ 10:46

Tomsk. A group of scientists, who study the Siberian Arctic shelf as a source of greenhouse gases, in fall will head for an expedition on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh research vessel to the Laptev and East Siberian Seas, the Tomsk University’s press service told TASS.

"It would be for the first time, that the research complex will include ‘layers’ of studies in geology, geophysics, bio-geo-chemistry, meteorology and space - from the sediments to precipitation surface, across the water into the atmosphere," the press service quoted Professor Igor Semiletov as saying.

According to the scientist, this approach is necessary to make climate models, which have never counted on methane emissions from the East Arctic seas, "whereas they are bigger than in any other areas of the World Ocean."

The Tomsk University told TASS the Russian Academy of Sciences’ expeditions would be annual. And the expedition in 2018 would be jointly with the Viktor Ilyichev Pacific Studies Institute. The expedition’s target areas would be in the Laptev and in the East Siberian Seas, where, since 2008, scientists have been watching methane emissions.

Earlier, the Russian government extended for two years a mega grant for research of the underwater permafrost’s degradation in the Arctic, which causes growing greenhouse gases’ emissions. Scientists hope to be able to forecast climate changes as result of studying those processes.

During Arctic expeditions, scientists have confirmed the permafrost’s big degradation. The current situation is that the big "cork," which would have stopped the gas hydrates, is "leaking" now. Through those fractions in the underwater permafrost, methane from the sediment layers is rising as high as the atmosphere, thus "warming" it up.

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