Is there life in the Arctic: the story of the polar scientist

Our studies address an important topic, namely, attempts to determine the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems. Yes, we could just sit and wait for these changes to happen by themselves, but we prefer to act. What we do in the Arctic is a forecast, a simulation of such changes. For example, we simulate excessive rainfall (we collect a large amount of snow with the help of snow enclosures) or increase the temperature by setting greenhouses (where the temperature is higher than in the environment). Then we measure new parameters and analyze them.

What could be so important in climate change in a region where people do not live? In fact, the global climate situation depends on the Arctic. The climate in the Arctic affects climate around the world, changes in the Polar region can upset the balance of all world ecosystems. The temperature rise in the Arctic is felt more strongly than in any other corner of the planet. Arctic glaciers absorb 90% of the solar heat, and the remaining 10% are scattered in the environment. If the ice melts, the absorption capacity drops to 80%, and 20% of the heat remains in the ecosystem.

Thus, melting ice turns into an “Arctic heat pump”.

There is a certain tendency, but the situation may change. In recent years, almost all of the ice has suddenly melted in the area between Disco Island and Greenland. However, this year he appeared again, and in large numbers. But this is rather an exceptional, abnormal situation.

In the north-eastern part of the island of Disco, opposite from our place of residence, a warming of 10-12 degrees is predicted over the next hundred years, while in the western part the temperature will increase by about 3-5 degrees Celsius. We observe other phenomena: an increase in precipitation by 50%, an increase in snow moisture, and the gradual disappearance of sea ice. The latter does not always lead to negative consequences. The disappearance of ice increases the amount of heat that spreads over the sea surface, which in turn leads to an increase in plankton - food for marine fish. The more fish in the sea, the more resources for the local population.

In particular, shrimp populations declined, but cod populations increased.

Our main role is to study the phenomenon of climate change, but it is not in our power to intervene in natural processes. We are trying to understand and explain the effects of these changes on the environment as a whole. The fact is that there is a “feedback effect”: when nature transforms as a result of climate change, new opportunities for further changes appear. A vicious circle forms, which is almost impossible to break.

Therefore, we need to understand and study the interaction of climate and nature in order to predict the future of our planet.

- It is proved that an increase in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere causes climate change. Using renewable energy would help prevent this and make a difference. Even nuclear power to some extent could be the solution to the problem.



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