The permafrost monitoring station is located on the Hayes Island, archipelago of Franz Josef Land
The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) has commissioned the northernmost permafrost monitoring station in Russia. It is located on the Hayes Island, archipelago of Franz Josef Land.
In addition, 19 more stations have been installed in other parts of the Russian Arctic. They will help monitor the processes of degradation of permafrost and the soils containing it; processes occurring due to climate change. Thus, a reliable monitoring system that ensures the safety of residential and industrial buildings and structures in the Arctic will be created, Director of the AARI said.
In total, the State Permafrost's Background Monitoring System will include 140 monitoring stations across the country. The system will cover 65 per cent of the country's area.
By late 2025, it will be a network of 140 monitoring stations, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology said.
Specialists will use received data to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from the permafrost melting, to predict climate change, and to draft forecasts for the country's socio-economic development. In 10-15 years, we will receive integral estimates of natural carbon emissions in Russia. Right now, it is not possible to make integral estimates. Therefore, the task to create a background monitoring system is a most important innovative project of national importance: to create a unified monitoring system for climatically active substances, the deputy minister said.
To date, permafrost monitoring stations have been installed in five Russian regions: Arkhangelsk Region, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Republic of Altai, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.
At the moment, the installed stations transmit technical data since after drilling in frozen ground, the temperature in the boreholes has changed and it takes time for it to return to the natural one.
The first scientific data will be available in the monitoring system as early as spring 2024. The data will be publicly available.
Drilling of boreholes for the state monitoring system also allowed scientists to obtain a large number of core samples of frozen soil; in 2024, the obtained materials will be collected in a unique core storage facility at the AARI.
The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute is the oldest and the largest Russian research institution in the field of comprehensive studies of the Polar Regions. Over 100 years of scientific work the Institute's specialists have organized about 1,100 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica.