28 Dec 2023 14:49

Greenhouse gas monitoring system starts working in Arctic - Russian research institute

ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 28 (Interfax) - The Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) is building a system for climate and environmental monitoring of the Russian Arctic seas, Director Alexander Makarov told reporters.

"Greenhouse gas monitoring is necessary for assessing the warming speed. Climate warming is twice or three times faster in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet. It's the greenhouse gases or, to be more precise, a change in their concentration in the atmosphere that accelerate and intensify the cyclic processes. Ice shields shrink in the Arctic seas in summer, thus increasing the open water area. Warm Atlantic waters rich in nutrients flow in. As a result, phytoplankton actively develops, consuming carbon dioxide from the water and producing organic carbon," Makarov said.

A module for monitoring greenhouse gas flows opened at the North Pole 41 drifting station in the Arctic and the observation station on the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago was modernized in 2023, Makarov said.

Observations show an increase in both average annual CO2 concentrations in the Arctic atmosphere and its absorption by the Arctic Ocean.

The AARI plans to broaden the network for greenhouse gas monitoring at the next stage of work. The AARI stations measuring CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will be supplemented with buoys drifting in the Russian Arctic seas for autonomous non-stop transmission of environmental data according to set parameters via satellite.

A consortium of seven state-run research centers is conducting the study, which aims to create an integrated monitoring system in the North Atlantic, the Northwest Pacific and Russian seas to assess their role in climate and eco-system changes in the world's oceans. The AARI seeks to develop a monitoring system for Russian Arctic seas.