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Scientists to study permafrost thawing in Arctic seas

The route will lie across the Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas

TOMSK, September 13. /TASS/. In September, about 80 scientists from Russia, China and Sweden will set out on an expedition to study the ecology and biochemical changes, caused by the thawing permafrost in the East Arctic’s seas and along the Northern Sea Route, the Tomsk Polytechnic University’s press service said on Friday.

"The scientists set the tasks to assess the changes in methane flows from the sediments into the water and atmosphere, to analyze the emissions’ scales, to study the current state of biological systems in the areas of emissions, to analyze the geo-ecology conditions in the waters, and more," the press service said.

Major methane emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere are caused by the thawing permafrost in the Arctic seas, the university said. This may greatly affect the planet’s climate. In order to estimate the changes, Russian and foreign scientists regularly hold expeditions. A new mission onboard the Akademik M. Keldysh is due on September 16.

During this voyage, scientists will conduct geophysics’ works. They will use an underwater remote-controlled vehicle and will take water samples for laboratory tests.

The route will lie across the Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas.

The scientists will represent the Stokholm University (Sweden), China’s First and Third Institutes of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration and more.