Scientists Develop a Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System


The system will monitor and record the amount of greenhouse gases in the Arctic seas

The North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform. © Valentin Egorshin/TASS

Scientists have begun making a climate monitoring system for the Russian Arctic seas. Russia's North Pole 41 drifting polar station is equipped with a special module to monitor greenhouse gas flows, the press service of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) reported.

Scientists at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute have begun making a system of "Climate and Environmental Monitoring of the Russian Arctic Seas," said in a statement.

The scientists noted that the observational data show an increase in average annual concentrations of carbon dioxide in the Arctic atmosphere and CO2 absorption by the Arctic Ocean. The cause of the observed effect is a combination of factors, the main one being global warming.

It is necessary to control greenhouse gases to assess the warming rates. In the Arctic, the climate is getting warmer two to three times faster than elsewhere on the planet. Those are greenhouse gases, or rather, changes in their concentration in the atmosphere, that accelerate and enhance cyclic processes, director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute said.

According to the AARI, the scientists expect to expand the greenhouse gas observation network in the next phase. In the future, the AARI will deploy a network of drifting buoys in the marine and coastal parts of the Russian Arctic. A network of drifting buoys will autonomously transmit environmental information via satellites.

The data, transmitted offline via satellites, will improve significantly the understanding of processes in the region in winter when the Arctic seas are covered with ice.

The North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform (IRP) is a unique research expedition vessel with the functionality of a research centre that is designed for year-round expeditions in the high latitudes of the Arctic Ocean. The vessel is designed to conduct geological, acoustic, geophysical, and oceanographic studies and is capable of passing through the ice without the involvement of an icebreaker.