First station of the state permafrost background monitoring system
© Official website of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area Government

First station of state permafrost background monitoring system opens in Yamal

The first observation point of the state system of background monitoring of the condition of permafrost opened in Salekhard. The first thermometric well will become part of the state background monitoring system for permafrost, which will be deployed in Russia by the end of 2025.

This system is being created in Russia for the first time.

“The location of the first station is not chosen by chance: we will begin creating a permafrost monitoring system right here, in Salekhard, at one of the oldest Russian meteorological stations, which has been operating since the late 19th century. Given that the permafrost zone covers 65 percent of Russia’s territory, its study becomes a national task. In order to control changes in the thermal composition, 140 such stations will start operating by the end of 2025,” Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov said at the opening ceremony of the observation point on May 19.

The importance of creating a monitoring system has been repeatedly emphasized by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In August 2021, Russia’s first laboratory of Earth cryology and geotechnical safety was created at the Scientific Center for the Study of the Arctic in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area.

“A lot is being done in Yamal to monitor permafrost. The system of geotechnical monitoring of the state of soils is in operation. Today, dozens of buildings are equipped with precise sensors, making it possible to monitor the state of permafrost and respond in a timely manner in the event of changes. We have created a laboratory for Earth cryology and geotechnical safety, announced grants for permafrost scientists, and are now equipping the laboratory and attracting specialists from all over the country. I am glad that the minister is personally involved in this. We plan to develop work in this area together,” Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area Dmitry Artyukhov said.

The observation point in Salekhard is a 25-m-deep well with 32 sensors inside, data from which is sent to the Roshydromet server. All the equipment is Russian-made.

In 2023, another 20 monitoring stations in eight Russian regions will open. They will have all the necessary equipment. The technology for equipping thermometric wells and sending data has already been tested in the Russian Extreme North and the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Archipelago.

By the end of 2025, the network will include 140 observation stations. The system operator is the Roshydromet Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. Background monitoring data will make it possible to assess greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost melting, predict climate change, and obtain accurate information on trends in permafrost conditions in the country. This is necessary to update building standards, among other things.

Monitoring of the state of permafrost in Yamal is carried out in urban and natural environments. Yamal researchers have equipped 40 field wells. Fuel and energy companies are also involved in this work. The regional network includes more than 600 observation points.