Yakut experts to compile ten-year forecast for upper layer of Arctic permafrost
© Yaroslav Nikitin

Yakut experts to compile ten-year forecast for upper layer of Arctic permafrost

Scientists from the Yakutsk-based Institute for Permafrost Studies at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences will evaluate the state of the upper layer of permafrost. This they will do using a large area about 2,000 kilometers long north of the Arctic Circle. This was reported by the TASS news agency. This research will make it possible to compile a detailed online map. Therefore over a period of the next few decades it will be much easier to predict the state of the permafrost upper layer.

This forecast is quite topical because the melting upper permafrost layer could easily turn into vast swamps and marshes. This is what Vladimir Spektor, DSc (Geology and Mineralogy) and Chief Research Associate with the Laboratory of General Geo-Cryology at the above-mentioned Institute of Permafrost Studies, told TASS.

"We are studying the upper section of the cryolithozone, also known as permafrost. This large segment of the Arctic region is located north of the Arctic Circle. That includes the Laptev Sea's water surface and coast. This area is over 2,000 kilometers long and over 1,000 kilometers wide. It boasts the world's largest ice formations, that is, frozen clayey soils saturated with ice. Project participants are to collect and analyze various samples of soil. They will assess the composition of the territory's upper soil layer and also its temperatures. Also, they will be ascertaining changes in space and time. Thereafter they will compile an online map which will help to predict the layer's state for the next few decades," Spektor noted.

According to TASS' sources, the project, the aim of which is to study the upper cryolithozone layer in the eastern Arctic, has received a 1.5 million ruble grant for a period of three years from the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research.