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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

Scientists of KSC SB RAS told about the priorities in the field of climate research

15 December 2021 г. FRC KSC SB RAS

Ученые КНЦ СО РАН высказались о приоритетах в области исследования климата
In the first days of December, the SB RAS General Meeting was held in Novosibirsk. Leading scientists of the Federal Research Center "KSC SB RAS" took an active part in the session related to global climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon agenda. KSC SB RAS conducts a wide range of research in these areas. A detailed report on this session is published on the website “Science in Siberia”.

“Estimates of carbon sequestration in the Russian Federation according to different studies differ,” emphasized the head of the laboratory at the VN Sukachev Institute of Forest FRC KSC SB RAS, Candidate of Biological Sciences, Anatoly Prokushkin, - and there are almost no aggregated estimates for Siberia."

To solve the issue of adequate analysis of the current absorption of greenhouse gases in Russia, the RF Ministry of Science and Higher Education has launched a pilot project to create a network of carbon landfills.

Talking about the distribution of these observations in the countries of the Arctic and boreal biomes, one should note that the Russian Federation, occupying 60% of such areas, covers only less than 20% of carbon balance measurements. Therefore, for the development of Carboniferous landfill, it is important that these measurements should include representative natural landscapes, as well as ecosystems with natural emission and absorption of greenhouse gases. “It is especially important to look at the anthropogenically altered territories, including agricultural lands,” noted Anatoly Prokushkin.

The main part of the research on measuring the balance of greenhouse gas fluxes, according to Anatoly Prokushkin, is constituted by the ecological-climatic station concerned with fixing the net ecosystem exchange based on small masts. In addition, there are high-altitude masts, such as the international observatory ZOTTO, covering fairly large areas. To develop a monitoring network, the scientist proposed to develop a network of both installations, and to assess the carbon balance after any disturbances, and to use mobile structures based on cross-country vehicles and masts to measure exchange flows.

“The biosphere of the Earth kept the concentration of carbon dioxide almost at the same level for about 20 million years,” stated Sergei Bartsev, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences from the Institute of Biophysics FRC KSC SB RAS, “everything happened according to the law of the biosphere circularity discovered by Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky. Carbon dioxide content and average annual temperatures began to rise with the onset of the industrial era, and it is difficult to imagine a coincidence."

Sergei Bartsev believes that the criterion of global danger is the opening of the circulation system of substances, and therefore, one should not, for example, pay attention to the emissions of methane included in natural cycles (with the exception of the emission of lakes and swamps formed during the thawing of permafrost). “Paradoxical as it may seem, the most environmentally friendly way to heat houses is wood, provided that the forests are restored, since this is another biofuel option that ecologists are talking about,” the scientist said. - The danger here is represented by the deposited carbon released during the combustion of fossil fuels, degradation of permafrost, and decay of methane hydrate complexes.”

According to Sergei Bartsev, Russia should participate in the international "carbon dialogue" from well-grounded and balanced positions without politics: "We need a thorough analysis of the likelihood of irreversible self-developing processes," believes the scientist. - We also need a detailed assessment of the effectiveness of the proposed measures to overcome the global climate crisis. For example, the proposed intensive planting of forests is only delaying the consequences if nothing else is done.” It is also important to move away from a superficial assessment of technologies as more or less environmentally friendly. Sergei Bartsev revealed that electric transport emits more carbon into the atmosphere than hydrocarbon transport, if to take into account all the pollution due to the production of batteries.

Director of the Institute of Biophysics FRC KSC SB RAS, Academician, Andrey Degermendzhi presented a draft comprehensive research program "Greenhouse gases of Siberia", which has two goals: forecasting the interannual balance of carbon dioxide, methane and water flows over the ecosystem of Siberia and assessing changes in the structure of boreal forests (swamps) in the context of greenhouse gas emissions. The program is structured in blocks: methodical, laboratory-experimental, monitoring.

“We need the monitoring which will help to determine the total volume of flows over large areas,” emphasized Andrei Degermendzhi. He said that proposals for local projects of the "Greenhouse Gases of Siberia" program are welcome from institutes under the scientific and methodological guidance of SB RAS.

Academician A. Degermendzhi also outlined the initiative to establish an International Carbon Year by analogy with the Geophysical Year held from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958. “We will need to agree at the most authoritative level on common global measurement rules and permissible levels of their accuracy, methods of data processing and analysis, as well as analysis and evaluation methods,” the scientist concluded.

Source: Science in Siberia