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Tomsk Scientists Warn about Threat of Global Climate Disaster
June 29, 2015 15:53

An international program for studying possible consequences of the Arctic glaciers’ melting runs on the basis of the Tomsk Polytechnic University. Experts from Russia, Sweden, England, the USA, the Netherlands, and other countries have combined efforts to research the problem and prevent the threat of about five hundred abnormal fields of methane emission from the Arctic ice. According to the worst scenario the mankind will face a global disaster, which will require the world budget of all the states to eliminate it.

Last year two international Arctic expeditions were carried out in the Laptev Sea and the Arctic Ocean to examine the impact of the underwater permafrost degradation on the climate of the entire planet. 80 experts from 15 higher education institutions of the world took part in the latter expedition. They worked for about hundred days in the ice onboard the unique scientific Oden ice breaker. This work became possible thanks to grants of the Government of the Russian Federation and the Russian Scientific Foundation, as well as financial investments of the partner countries.

“Mega emissions of methane were found at the depth of 60 to 100 meters. Underwater permafrost there has been in contact with benthonic warm water for approximately 9 to 10 thousand years. It is enough for it to melt down. According to our drilling data, the permafrost is already in transit. During our last expedition on Oden we found about 500 abnormal fields of methane emissions” - the expedition member Igor Semiletov informs.

That is melting of glaciers leads to emission of methane from the Arctic depths into the atmosphere, and it can affect the planet environment in unpredictable ways.

In general scientists forecast four case scenarios: from the mildest one to the catastrophic. According to the worst forecast up to 5 percent of glacial gases will emit into the atmosphere and concentration of methane will increase many times. "If it happens, the Kyoto Protocol will seem a scenario seen through rose-coloured glasses”, - Mr. Semiletov points out.

He noted that scientists from the Netherlands ran this scenario through the country’s economic model and found out that it would take about 70 trillion dollars to fight the aftermath of such a cataclysm.

 “It is the world budget of all the economies. limate is climate, without any state borders. It will be bad for all”, - the Russian Arctic researcher emphasized.

In order to manage the aftermath of the Arctic ice melting, the team of Russian and foreign scientists   on the basis of the Tomsk Polytechnic University plan to coordinate the course of large-scale international research work.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Climate Arctics    

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