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Russian, French scientists study permafrost lakes in Arctic

Russia allocates about $226,000 from the federal budget on the project

TOMSK, January 16. /TASS/. Russian and French scientists in 2017 will be the first ever to study sediments in the thermokarst lakes, which formed in Yamal melting permafrost, to see how the lakes developed and to see their input in the global warming, head of the Bioclimland Center at the Tomsk State University Sergei Kirpotin told TASS on Monday.

He said, the three-year project will feature Russian scientists from the Tomsk University and scientists from Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees (Toulouse) at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. Russia allocates 13.5 million rubles (about $226,000) from the federal budget. The research will be conducted in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, right at the southern edge of the permafrost. "We will test the sediments to make historic retrospective studies - what was earlier, how they formed, how they developed there, what the conditions were," the scientist said. "We will also study emission of greenhouse gases, their development in the past, as those sediments may say a lot about the conditions and processes at that time."

"Analyzing the past, the present, giving forecasts are very important for structuring models of the future, including for the climate," he added.

The Tomsk University has a mighty network of stations for research of climate and other processes in West Siberia, including in the Arctic area.

"It is a sort of an ecology corridor, which stretches from Siberia’s south - from high Altai’ to deep Arctic," he explained. "Along that mega-profile we have organized the network of our stations - Aktry (high Altai), Kaibasovo in floodplain of the Ob River near Tomsk, and Hanymei in Yamal - there scientists make regular tests of water, snow, ice for biogeochemical and landscape-ecology studies."

Besides, this year, the university’s stations will welcome major foreign scientists under the INTERACT 2 international program for research and monitoring in the Arctic, which is financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. Russia is represented in the program by four organizations, including the Tomsk University.