"The Arctic — it's awesome! The ice, glaciers, icebergs. Returns are not wanted." — "And what do you remember most?" — "Polar Bear! True, we watched him from a distance through binoculars — go near dangerous." Anya Rudalev, first-year graduate student at the Northern Arctic Federal University. MV University (Safa), still overwhelmed with emotion. Of course! More than 4 thousand miles on the White, Barents and Kara Seas. On a summer internship, until recently, could only dream of.
University at Sea
We are standing on the top deck of the research vessel "Professor Molchanov", which has just returned to the port of Arkhangelsk. On the eve of capricious weather northern Arkhangelsk presented an unpleasant surprise — in much colder, the temperature of the cold hardly more than ten degrees. Our people wrap themselves in scarves and leather jackets, and on the ship, many dressed almost over-year — T-shirts, vests. After the Arctic, even a small plus it seems very warm. "Professor Molchanov" the next flight, "Arctic Floating University" — is the third and the second this year.
The project started last summer by a grant from the Russian Geographical Society, which was also one of the organizers together with Safa and Roshydromet. The whole idea is not new, this educational model already tested MSU and RSHMU. Their floating universities scoured waters of the Mediterranean, Black, Caspian and Baltic seas. But for the first time made it to the Arctic. Main feature — the combination of teaching and research activities. During long-term transitions of young people read Professor lectures, and almost immediately gained knowledge into practice.
Floating University — is not a pleasure trip for especially distinguished students. Actually, they are in the expedition of about half. The others — teachers and young scientists. And all have to work pohlesche than on the shore. And during the day, and even at night. For example, thanks to a university expeditions managed to recover (after a 15 year hiatus) observations on the oceanographic sections in the northern seas. This serial number of geographic locations where water samples are taken at different depths. The distance between points is relatively small, and when it is cut, have to work clock. Duty shall be distributed equally, no discount on the age and status. Is that the deck is forced to scrub students — engaged in this crew.
Each subsequent expedition continues research started in previous flights. Range of scientific disciplines is quite wide — glaciology, biology, oceanography, meteorology, hydrochemistry, etc. The main task — the collection of data and samples. Part of the laboratory work is carried out directly on the ship, but a closer examination and analysis of the collected material has been held on land — in the CCU, "Arctic", created a couple of years ago at Safa.
"And what about the Arctic?" — "Melts …"
The first results of the expeditions' Arctic Floating University "suggests that global climate change continues. Already on the first voyage failed to "catch" a cold Russian seas warm current. This year, its presence is confirmed. For landing on some glaciers today are more suitable rubber boots, witnesses say — the water flows there turbulent fluxes of these lakes.
The area of ice cover in the Arctic compared to the 70-mi's. the last century has almost halved, told the head of the Northern Agency Hydromet and chairman of the Arkhangelsk branch of the Russian Geographical Society Leonid Vasilev. However, this year a little colder earlier, but, overall, the warming trend continues. Over the past 20 years, the number of natural hazards. Permafrost does not live up to its name and began to melt, dragging the coastline. Meteorological station on the island Wiese had to be moved to the center of the island, because of its predecessor fell into the sea. "Chipping whole chunks of the coast" — depicts the situation head "Sevgidrometa" and adds, in other places are the same processes.
In this case, the serious negative consequences of melting ice is not observed, says Vasiliev. But there are positive: improving navigation conditions along the Northern Sea Route. And the heating season in the north is a little shorter.
The uncertain economy
The interest of Russian Geographical Society in the Arctic is not accidental. Edge of white silence — one of the main research activities of the organization almost since its inception. One problem: the situation in the Russian Arctic is running so that no social organization without the strong support of the state can not afford to clean up the whole pile of accumulated problems.
In the Russian Arctic, there are places where one hundred years have not gone before. There's even one day can make great voyages of discovery, says the deputy director of the Institute of Geography RAS Arkady Tishkov. Modern Russia is ten times less engaged in research work in the Arctic than in the 20s. last century, when the country was not just poor and barely making ends meet. In the difficult years after the war laid the foundation of the wealth that is eaten through together so far. It was then made by all, without exception, the discovery of oil, gas, gold, tin, which are now used by the mining companies. New not open, says the scientist. In the 90-ies. Arctic generally been abandoned. During Soviet times, there were 90 polar meteorological stations today — about 50 (in Chukotka, Yakutia and Archangelsk region). From the point of view of Geophysics Russian Arctic waters about a thousand times less studied than the neighboring Norwegian, Canadian or American. From other points of view, we are lagging behind, no less.
On remains can be collected where field studies are preserved. Where once it was the hospitals for 50 — 100 people, powerful expedition, which allowed for one half of the new season to survey the land, now often have to settle for incidental boat or helicopter. Own money to rent vehicles lacking. A research should not depend on whether the pilot will take Uncle Bob scientist on board or not, laments Tishkov.
"The need for science in frames Yes we need ten times more knowledge than there are now. Behind the desk Arctic explorer is not ready. And we have plans hulk" — it is boiled. Arctic today is in need of a massive development of science, and projects such as the "Floating University" must be hundreds. But the development of Arctic research and its funding — state problem. The state, like, understand the importance of the issue. There is even a strategy of development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation until 2020. That's just it still relies program, which has so far not. And somehow all the financing is not too good, especially in recent times.
And yet they go
In fact, our familiarity with the scientific life of Arkhangelsk began with the upper-air station. Here is a brand new Doppler radar, launched on May 6 — the pride of "Sevgidrometa." The device allows you to accurately predict those most dangerous weather phenomena. The whole country "Doppler" are no more than five. Thanks to the interest in the Arctic region last seven years developing well. In particular, at the expense of budget funds. "And now again became restless" — confessed Leonid Vasilev. This year's funding was cut AHEM north of 33 million rubles., The next two are expected to continue sequestration. Helps to keep afloat the commercial sector: service fee of hydrometeorological information provides 25% of the total budget.
The average salary in the management of the order of 18 — 19 thousand rubles. Polar explorers, of course, earn more — from 25 thousand professionals from ordinary to 40 thousand in the heads. Ration plus the first category — this is 7000. With the "northern" wage Soviet times, quite frankly, is not comparable. But there are enthusiasts who are ready to go to the Arctic and for the money. Some are there for decades. Looking into his eyes sparkling delight "graduates" floating university, you know why. However, among them link the fate of the Arctic are going to come.
By the way, "Sevgidrometu" belongs "Professor Molchanov". Sixth of August the ship will go to the next trip. This expedition will be dedicated to the memory of the famous Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen and should go the route of his journey along the Northern Sea Route: Bugrino — Vaygach — Jamal — Dixon — Dudinka.