First pictures and
video of the largest
methane fountain so
far discovered in the
Arctic OceanSubsea permafrost thaws faster than previously thought, Russian scientists say.
Expedition set off from Arkhangelsk, northwest Russia, on September 17.
- It was organised by Shirshov Institute of Oceanography (Moscow) with the Ilyichev Pacific Ocean Institute of Oceanography (Vladivostok).
- 65 scientists from 12 research organisations across 7 countries (Russia, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, UK, USA) were on board of Academician Keldysh research vessel.
- Researchers studied seas of the eastern Arctic: East Siberian sea, Laptev sea and Kara sea.
Aims of the expedition were
- To study state of subsea (underwater) permafrost;
- To study flows of greenhouse gases in the Arctic atmosphere;
- To study ecological state of waters and seabed sediments along the Northern Sea Route (NSR).
What they actually established
- High levels of degradation of subsea permafrost.
- Speed of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost has doubled compared to previous centuries and turned out to be higher than earlier estimates.
- Microplastic has been discovered in seas of the eastern Artic thousands miles away from residential settlements.
What else did researchers say?
Elena Kudryashova, rector of Northern Federal University, Arkhangelsk: 'Another important subject of our research was study of various types of microplastic in the seas of the eastern Arctic.
'It is important to compare and analyse results of all expeditions because microplastic represents a serious threat to organisms and sea ecosystems as a whole.'
Pictures of the methane gas seep credit Tomsk Polytechnic University