The winter marine expedition of the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the research vessel Dalnie Zelentsy, organized as part of the national project Science and Universities, has ended. The results obtained during the expedition are necessary for predicting changes in the bioproductivity of the Barents Sea under the conditions of a changing climate and anthropogenic impact.
The Barents Sea is one of the most studied areas of the World Ocean. At the same time, the relevance of studies of this reservoir not only does not decrease, but is constantly increasing. MMBI RAS scientists set themselves the task of finding out what happens to the marine ecosystems of the Arctic not only during winter, but also during the beginning, middle and end of the polar night. Similar studies in the Barents Sea have practically not been carried out.
The expedition was attended by 9 people, including 8 young scientists, including two students and graduate students. The R/V Dalnie Zelentsy left Murmansk on December 1, 2022. The vessel has an ice class L2, which makes it possible to carry out work in the edge zone of ice – the area of the hydrodynamically active zone occupied by ice fields.
“For two months, we have received unique data on the state of the environment of the Barents Sea – its temperature, water salinity, pollution, physico-chemical characteristics of sea ice and its biological content, on the planktonic organisms inhabiting the water column and on the inhabitants of the bottom – benthos. In particular, new studies will provide a wider and more detailed range of information about the winter state of plankton communities, and will be able to seriously change the science’s understanding of the levels of synthesis of primary organic matter in the Arctic seas,” said Deputy Director of the MMBI RAS, Doctor of Biology, Professor Pavel Makarevich .
In addition, in the course of oceanographic research on the Kola Meridian secular section, information was obtained on climate changes that, under the influence of various factors, occur in the ecosystem of the Barents Sea in all hydrological seasons. “The expedition took place in extreme conditions of winter storms and polar night. Sometimes it was necessary to deal with the freezing of the vessel and chipping away the ice that was freezing on the hull. Nevertheless, we completed the main tasks, ”said Alexander Deryabin, head of the expedition. Thus, scientists will have the opportunity to expand the range of their research. The updated ships will carry out sea expeditions not only in the Russian European seas, in the Arctic and the Far East, but also in remote areas of the World Ocean.
This year it is planned to conduct at least 38 expeditions, including those under the Floating University program. The amount of their funding will increase to 1.8 billion rubles.
Recall that last year, thanks to the national project, 33 expeditions were carried out on ships of an unlimited navigation area and 8 expeditions on ships operating in the coastal zone. In total, 1.5 billion rubles were allocated for the expedition in 2022.
By participating in sea expeditions, young scientists and students acquire the practical knowledge necessary for future work in the polar regions. Floating Universities is a unique Russian educational project, the main principle of which is learning through research.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is implementing the national project “Science and Universities” in pursuance of the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation “On the national goals and strategic objectives of the development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2024”. The implementation of the program provides the intellectual potential of the country, contributes to the development of technologies and innovations, the economy and society.