The Arctic Floating University returned to Arkhangelsk with unexpected discoveries
Participants of the ninth joint expedition of NArFU and Roshydromet under the name Arcticum Incognita were welcomed by citizens, the scientific community and officials of the region.
Recall that this year the expedition was attended by 58 people from Russia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cuba, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Scientists and students conducted research in the field of hydrometeorology, hydrology, biology, geology and archeology.
With the completion of the expedition of researchers and students on the square in front of the main building of NArFU, the rector of the university Elena Kudryashova, the governor of the Arkhangelsk region Igor Orlov, the deputy head of the administration of the municipal administration «City of Arkhangelsk» on social issues Svetlana Skomorokhova. Director of the National Park «Russian Arctic» Alexander Kirilov, Deputy Chairman of the Arkhangelsk Center of the Russian Geographical Society Viktor Kuznetsov.
As the head of the expedition, director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Studies of NArFU Konstantin Zaykov, told a press conference on the results of the work of the «Arctic Floating University», the flight of the research vessel «Professor Molchanov» in 2017 became a real «Arctic Odyssey»:
«We had to meet more than once with bears, walruses, survive the drift of ice. The expedition turned out to be complex, we collected interesting materials. Unique data have been obtained, which indicate that there are global climate changes in the North. This brings about significant changes in the state of the landscape and biodiversity of the Arctic region,» said Konstantin Zaikov.
The expedition made eight landings on seven islands of three arctic archipelagoes: Solovetsky, Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land. Samples of soil were taken, studies of the atmosphere, water, marine biology, ornithofauna of the region were carried out. The scientists of NArFU conducted the first studies in the framework of the work on a megagrite on the development of a methodology for monitoring, forecasting and warning of risks associated with biological transport of highly toxic pollutants that can accumulate in food chains and spread in Arctic ecosystems.
«We recorded 30 thousand birds representing 21 species. We observed four species of populations that are listed in the Red Book, and noted a significant increase in the nesting of these birds in the Russian Arctic sector. We found a black-browed albatross — a bird listed in the Red Book and inhabiting the southern Atlantic. The fact that it suddenly appeared in high latitudes is a very important discovery,» the expedition leader said.
Konstantin Zaykov also reported that hydrometeorological studies of the circulation in the Arctic of Atlantic water masses were continued. In 2012, between the New Earth and Franz Josef Land, scientists recorded a warm sea current. It was discovered this year too.
His impressions of the expedition were shared by the head of the Swiss delegation, Professor of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne Eric Hosli.
"Our expectations of the expedition were justified. The students were delighted, they could see live how scientific discoveries were made. There is no better way to train specialists exploring the Arctic than participating in such an expedition. It was important for our students to hear and see disputes, discussions of leading Arctic studies on climate change. It was a great school for the kids, «said Erik Hosli.
Alexander Kirilov, Acting Director of the National Park «Russian Arctic», said about the significance of the expedition. He noted that thanks to the «Arctic Floating University» students can in practice apply theoretical knowledge, interact with leading scientists and get serious experience.
«For the National Park» Russian Arctic «this expedition is very important, because we have a very large protected natural area. The comprehensive, all-encompassing research of the „Arctic Floating University“ helps us to keep abreast of what is happening in the National Park,» stressed Alexander Kirilov.
Elena Kudryashova, rector of NArFU, noted that the data obtained in the expedition «Arctic Floating University» will be processed and analyzed, and in autumn the first conclusions and results will appear in the form of publications and articles. Congratulation from the Russian Geographical Organisation.