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Soil pollution spreads into tundra’s thawed permafrost, scientists say

The current ecology monitoring doesn't regulate groundwater pollution in the areas, where the permafrost continues to degrade, Professor of the St. Petersburg State University Marina Opekunova said

ST. PETERSBURG, June 4. /TASS/. The permafrost’s thawing in the tundra causes gradual, unobvious migration of pollutants into the soil’s upper layers thus threatening the Arctic territories, where intensive development is underway, Professor of the St. Petersburg State University Marina Opekunova told TASS.

"The global warming issue is on agenda at any levels, and this aspect is very important in formation of the modern ecology monitoring system in areas of oil and gas production, as the thawing permafrost causes active migration of pollutants," she said. "Presently, chemical pollution is rather limited, but as the thawing continues, polluted areas will only grow."

The current ecology monitoring does not regulate groundwater pollution in the areas, where the permafrost continues to degrade, she added.

"Thus, we miss the process of pollutants’ migration under the soil," she said, pointing to necessary studies of those processes. Russian scientists have been working on methods for ecology monitoring in the Arctic regions, she said in conclusion.