According to American and European scientists, the work of 21 INTERACT research stations was stopped in the spring of 2022 in an attempt by Western countries to isolate Russia from the rest of the world, including in the scientific sphere
Climatologists have concluded that Russia's scientific isolation has an extremely negative impact on climate and environmental research in the Arctic, aimed at assessing how this region will change in the coming decades and centuries. The study was published in the Nature Climate Change scientific journal.
We assessed how accurately we estimate climate and environmental change in the Arctic when the baseline dataset does or does not include information that is collected by INTERACT research stations located in Russia. These calculations showed that neglecting Russian data degrades data quality and increases the inaccuracy of projections, and in some cases, these errors are comparable to projected climate change, the researchers write.
This conclusion was reached by a team of American and European climatologists and ecologists led by Aarhus University Professor Niels M. Schmidt when studying data sets collected in past years by 94 tracking stations located throughout the Arctic. Each of the tracking stations represents a miniature research complex whose staff constantly monitors how the climate and ecosystems of the Arctic Circle are changing.
The researchers note that the work of 21 INTERACT research stations was stopped in the spring of 2022 in an attempt by Western countries to isolate Russia from the rest of the world, including in the scientific sphere. Climatologists were interested in how this move affected the quality of the data that INTERACT collects.
To obtain such information, the scientists prepared two data sets, one of which contained information collected by all 94 tracking stations until spring 2022, while from the second one they excluded all climate and environmental information obtained by the Russian stations of the INTERACT project. Using these two sets of measurements, scientists have calculated how the Arctic climate has changed in the recent past, as well as how it will change by the end of the century.
The researchers' calculations have shown that data from Russian stations are vital for ensuring the completeness of observations of Arctic climate and ecology, as well as for achieving a high level of accuracy in predicting how the climate and ecosystems of the Polar Regions will change in the coming decades and centuries.
The scientists emphasise that these forecasts and estimates will be particularly negatively affected by the fact that the INTERACT project no longer collects data on the impact of global warming on the Siberian taiga and other Russian forests.