For more than 30 years TSU scientists have been investigating the impact of the warming climate on the process of carbon emissions in Siberia. As you know, our macroregion is one of the most "permafrost" regions in the world: here are concentrated huge reserves of permafrost in all its forms from islands of discontinuous permafrost to solid, continuous areas. Frozen soil stores vast amounts of carbon, and with global warming, when the permafrost thaws, the carbon starts to separate into the atmosphere, contributing to the strengthening of what is known as the greenhouse effect.
In recent years, studies are underway in laboratories created by megagrants (this is IF the above in Russian is in the plural, otherwise it would be, in a laboratory funded by a megagrant (http://biogeoclim.tsu.ru/en/). Recently, researchers of TSU’s BioClimLand Centre initiated and won a major international project that brings together leading scientists from the UK, Sweden, France, and Russia. The project is called "Climate impact on carbon emission and its export fromSiberian inland waters" or SIWA (Siberian Inland Waters)
- The SIWA project received support within the European programme Joint Programming Initiatives, in which the study of the climate is one of the priority areas, - says Sergey Kirpotin, Director of the BioClimLand Centre. - It involves transnational projects and leading scientists, and of course, that research related to the Arctic is the most important. It is expected that the programme JPI Climate, combining different scientific disciplines, will make a significant contribution to addressing the challenges associated with climate change.
The collaboration of researchers from four countries in the project SIWA has as its goal not only to examine the state of permafrost, but to expand the knowledge of its effects on the conservation and emission of greenhouse gases in water and air.
- The study of carbon emissions into the atmosphere by special plastic (methane) cameras is of course already done. But there is another question. A significant amount of carbon is present in a dissolved form in bodies of water such as thermokarst lakes and small rivers. The dissolved carbon enterslarger bodies of water and istransported to oceans. These processes are still poorly investigated, - says Sergey Kirpotin. - We plan to study the lake-stream network along the climatic gradient, covering a vast region from the area of the permafrost islands to the zone of continuous permafrost.
Research teams from four countries, each with its area of scientific responsibility, will participate in the project. For example, researchers at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) will take on the hydrological component of the project. The Scots Northern Rivers Institute has a status similar to our center of excellence and was awarded the European quality designation ERC.
The French group headed by Oleg Pokrovsky is responsible for biogeochemistry, because Toulouse’s aboratory is one of the leaders in its field in Europe. Colleagues from Sweden will study carbon emissions and export. And our task is to ensure the logistics of expeditions, to choose locations for sampling, and to provide a range of analytical work in the laboratories of the BioClimLand Centre. I want to underline that projects supported under the terms of the JPI Climate programme bring together leading scientists, which speaks to the fact that today TSU has a good reputation abroad.