Talking at an international polar conference in Sankt Petersburg on Wednesday, Head of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Institute Ivan Frolov confirmed that Russia will conduct no more missions with drifting Arctic research stations.
Frolov instead proposes to base a series of drifing research buoys in the region. He also suggests to build a specially designed platform which can drift with the Arctic current, RIA Novosti reports.
Since 1937, a total of 40 missions have been conducted with well-manned North Pole drifting stations. The ongoing 40th mission will be the last.
As previously reported, the researchers had major problems with finding a suitable icefloes for the ongoing North Pole-40 mission.
The drifting North Pole stations, which have been organized by the Arctic and Antarctic Institute, have given major contributions to Russian research on the Arctic. In average, 15 people have manned the stations, which have included both housing and research facilites. Normally, the stations have been established in April and subsequently operated for up to three years when the ice floes end up in the Greenland straits. This year, however, the researchers were forced to end the previous North Pole-39 mission in the Canadian part of the Arctic following vanishing ice.
Analysis of satellite data by NASA and the NASA-supported NSIDC at the University of Colorado in Boulder showed that the sea ice extent shrunk to 3.41 million square kilometers. The former record-low from 2007 amounted to 4.17 million square kilometers.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.