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Academician points to importance of research into greenhouse gases accumulated in water

The topic about how the water surface influences greenhouse gases exchange has not been sufficiently studied

ARKHANGELSK, August 17. /TASS/. The study of greenhouse gases, in particular, carbon dioxide, accumulated in water, including in the Arctic, is an important direction to study the exchange of elements causing the greenhouse effect, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev said on Monday.

"The process of depositing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has a very serious feature associated with water surfaces," he said after a meeting with scientists of the Laverov Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research (the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Urals Branch, FECIAR). "We are used to the fact that forests deposit CO2, transfer it to the solid phase, into tree trunks, into carbon in soils, but we have been receiving information that the water surface affects significantly this exchange <...>, this is a very important aspect that needs to be studied," he said.

The topic about how the water surface influences greenhouse gases exchange has not been sufficiently studied, he noted. For example, swamps absorb carbon dioxide, but they can emit methane. Other reservoirs also participate in this exchange.

"If we manage to prove that the water surface plays a significant role, maybe even no less than the role of forests, in the greenhouse gases exchange, then we will face completely different tasks - and what to do next? To plant new forests or somehow to cultivate plankton, which significantly absorbs [carbon dioxide] from the atmosphere on the water surface. This is a completely new area," he said, adding the FECIAR specialists have been working in this direction. "You are one of the leaders in the country. And not only here," he added.

This direction is also very important for the economic development, he continued.

"This is important not just for us to breathe well, this is important for the economy to work in a new way and for [efficient work] of the money, spinning in this new sector, related to carbon units," he said. "We must find correctly our place in the economy of these processes.".