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Thawing ice reveals new islands on Franz Josef Land Archipelago

More than 30 new islands were found in 2015-2018 by remote sensing of the Earth

MOSCOW, 23. /TASS/. Thawing ice opened five new islands on the Franz Josef Land Archipelago. The discoveries were made during a complex expedition of the Northern Fleet and the Russian Geographical Society, the Northern Fleet’s commander and the expedition’s leader Alexander Moiseyev told a news conference in TASS on Tuesday.

In August, the Russian Geographical Society announced five new islands in the Wiese Bay near the Nansen Glacier. The islands are between 900 and 54,500 square meters.

"Mostly, they [the new islands] appear as the ice retreats, as in the past those areas were glaciers, but the thawing ice reveals the islands," Moiseyev said. "The discoveries will be registered, every island will be named, but first of all we must provide the proofs."

According to the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), more than 30 new islands were found in 2015-2018 by remote sensing of the Earth.

RGS’s President Sergei Shoigu announced the expedition to the Franz Josef Land Archipelago in early 2019. The expedition began on August 15 and continued to September 27, 2019. The crew followed the routes of the archipelago’s first explorers and conducted unique experiments. For example, they sent letters in bottles, and created a stock of food products, which will be opened in 50 years only. The expedition onboard the Navy’s Altai tugboat included 60 people — the crew, RGO’s experts and representatives of the Russian Arctic Nature Park.