“Due to climate change, global warming, the ecosystem is changing a lot,” said Larry Hinzman, President of the International Arctic Scientific Committee (IASC), vice chancellor for research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA. “It is very important for the global Arctic scientific community today to work together – at the intersection of disciplines and focuses – and discuss issues at the international level in order to come to a deeper understanding of how the ecosystem is changing today and how it will transform in the future, what the consequences of these changes may be. It is also important that we meet here, in Russia, as it occupies a large part of the Arctic. There are strong scientists here, including in Arkhangelsk. Joint projects have greatly influenced the development of Arctic science”.
“We are very grateful for the support provided by the International Arctic Scientific Committee (IASC), and we will continue to cooperate and build our work in close contact with our colleagues,” said Vladimir Pavlenko, Vice-President of IASC, member of the Arctic Expert Council within the Federation Council of Russia. “Concentration of our intellectual efforts on the agenda, which is in the name of our conference, is most relevant. This is climate change and the development of the Arctic population.”
The activities of the IASC working groups are focused on multidisciplinary scientific work within the framework of the 5-year IASC Strategic Plan, adopted last year.
The Marine Working Group focused on the melting of sea ice:
“It is very important for us to understand the significance of this process for the entire ecosystem, and how we can reduce its negative impact. Events such as the Arctic Science Summit Week help researchers from around the world find common ground and discuss global issues of Arctic science at the international level,” said Lee Cooper, professor at the University of Maryland, USA.
Melting of glaciers leads to inevitable changes in the atmosphere and the task of the scientific community in this area is to study this process and determine the impact of changes in sea glaciers on average altitudes.
“Melting of sea ice affects the ecosystem in the Arctic, many mammals are now in a stressful situation. The weather in the Arctic is changing, sometimes it rains in winter which creates certain problems for animals. We have learned to document what is happening, to use information to describe these changes,” said Kent Moore, professor from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Professor Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, member of the Cryosphere Working Group, studies glaciers. For Iceland this topic is extremely relevant since 10 percent of the country's territory is covered with ice.
“We have a lot of hydroelectric power plants that produce energy using melting ice. But since the air in the Arctic has become warmer in recent years, we have every reason to believe that if this continues at current rate, then in 200 years the glaciers will simply disappear. We are closely watching these processes, we make predictions,” said Thorsteinn. “This is my first visit to Arkhangelsk which, by the way, is at the same latitude as Reykjavik. In Iceland we hold annual meetings on climate change issues involving scientists from all Arctic countries. This year we plan to invite specialists from Russia.”
According to prof. Thosteinsson, here at the summit they are interested in learning about the findings of the Russian science regarding climate change, atmosphere, glaciers, sea currents in the Arctic Ocean, especially in the Eastern Arctic, in Siberia.
“We have little data on climate change in the Russian zone of the Arctic,” added Thorsteinn.
“Our task is to combine data obtained in recent years by scientists from different countries who are studying the cryosphere, the Earth's surface and the atmosphere. What impact does human activity in the Arctic have on the biosphere, on the number of mammals? To develop solutions and a common policy with regard to human activity in this region, we need reliable scientific data on all transformations in the Arctic nature,” said Christian Rixen (Switzerland) and Rebecca Hewitt (USA), members of the IASC Terrestrial Working Group.
ASSW2019 Media Center
May 22-30, the city of Arkhangelsk (North-West Russia) hosts a large-scale international scientific event which has brought together 450 researchers from 29 countries. The Arctic Science Summit Week was initiated by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).