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Russian and U.S. Scientists to Study Methane Release in Arctic
5.09.2011 14:32
Russian and U.S. Scientists to Study Methane Release in Arctic

On Friday a group of Russian and U.S. scientists left the port of Vladivistok on board of a Russian research ship "Academician Lavrentyev" to study methane emissions in the eastern part of the Arctic.

      "This expedition was urgently organized by the Russian Fund of Fundamental Research and the U.S. National Science Foundation following the discovery of a dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas from the seabed in the eastern part of the Arctic", Professor Igor Semiletov, the head of the expedition, said.

      According to him, all 27 members of the expedition has set themselves a number of tasks, such as to measure the scale of methane emissions and clarify the nature of the process.

      "We know that the leakage of methane results from the degradation of underwater permafrost. A massive release of such a powerful greenhouse gas may accelerate global warming," Semiletov said.

      The 45-day expedition will be the longest arctic expedition for the last few years. It will focus on the sea shelf of the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Russian part of the Chukotsk Sea, where 90% of underwater permafrost is located.

      Methane is about 20 times more potent than CO2 in trapping solar heat. The scientists has been researching this phenomenon for more than 10 years, and now, they are going to use a cutting-edge geophysical complex for the problem's research within the expedition.


Source: RIA Novosti Primamedia


Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: methane Russian scientists Russian science expedition  

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