A group of Russian scientists detected new signs of climate change. By exploring 42 of the 191 archipelago islands they were able to identify newly arrived species from the south. They account this to the thinning of the ice cover since 1957 when the last expedition of the Soviet Union took place.
The mission lasted 3 months in the Arctic’s Fran Josef Land. The team consisted of eight scientists, who are expert geomorphologists, paleographers, zoologists and botanists, and led by Maria Gavrilo, an ornithologist.
The team created new maps of the archipelago and listed the rare species. They identified four out of twenty bird species that are not native to the islands, and have migrated from the south due to rising temperatures. In addition, the scientists looked at rare species of mosquitoes, one of which might be hitherto unknown.
The analysis of the gathered data should be finalized next year, when the scientists promise to release their conclusions.
The Fran Josef Landis is administrated by Russia. The country has recently started exploring possibilities of expanding their energy production to the reserves of the Arctic shelf.
Although the Russian government has not placed the issue of climate change high in their agenda, many experts are certain that melting of the northern permafrost, in the event of possible rise of temperatures, would endanger energy infrastructure, and at the same time make current agricultural land in the south unusable.