Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

A hand on the Arctic's pulse

Polar ecology was one of the main topics of the Arctic and Antarctic Days in Moscow

16 november 2022

The Arctic and Antarctic Days International Forum was held in Moscow on 10–11 November. Representatives of the scientific community and the Arctic regions of Russia, heads of relevant ministries and agencies paid special attention to the environmental issues of the Polar region. The forum presented the latest legislative innovations in the field and research projects that will help preserve the fragile nature of the Arctic in a changing climate.

Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, said that the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology has prepared two 'environmental' draft laws at once. Under the first of these, companies operating in the Arctic will be obliged to report their emissions of all greenhouse gases. So far, they are doing it on a voluntary basis and the situation needs to change.

The second draft law, drafted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, concerns the creation of a state system of permafrost monitoring based on Roshydromet.

The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute has already begun work on a monitoring system.

'On Cape Baranov and the Spitsbergen Archipelago, they have made test sites, drilled 25-metre boreholes and installed thermal spits, the data from which is continuously transmitted to the institute via satellite channels. In the future, we will measure not only the temperature at different depths but also the dynamics of ice and deformation of the earth's surface,' said Alexander Kozlov.

In total, the monitoring network will include 140 such wells. They will help develop adaptation measures to thawing permafrost. 

A scientific expedition will also study the changing nature of the Arctic, starting in September on the Severny Polyus, a self-propelled ice-breaking platform.

The main objective of the platform is to become a key point for gathering the information that is needed to create models of Arctic weather and climate, and to find ways to reduce environmental damage from Arctic development. The resulting data will be fed into Roshydromet's Sever system.

The Arctic situation will also be monitored at the Snezhinka international Arctic station. Its construction in Jade Valley on Yamal will start in spring 2023. The station itself will not cause any damage to nature: it will be the world's first hydrogen-powered science and education complex.

The first phase of Snezhinka is scheduled to begin test operation in 2024, with the entire station scheduled to be up and running in 2025. Cutting-edge technologies in clean energy production and life-support systems—such as a dome structure powered by wind power—make the project unique. And at the carbon test site built at Snezhinka, scientists will be able to be the first in the world to measure nitrogen oxide as a greenhouse gas.

'We see the formation of scientific and educational centres, the creation of the North Pole self-propelled platform and monitoring networks—these are, in fact, breakthrough actions that consolidate the Russian Federation's leadership and ownership of the operational initiative in high latitudes,' said Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Russia's Senior Arctic Official to the Arctic Council.

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