by Vyacheslav ROZHNOV, RAS Corresponding Member, Severtsev Institute of Ecological and Evolutionary Problems, deputy director, Moscow, Russia
The natural environment of the Far North is in great danger, what with the ongoing exploration and development of mineral resources in the arctic regions and the shrinking ice cover. How will all that tell on arctic animals? Can we minimize the negative consequences? We cannot answer these questions without reliable information on the present condition of all the various animal populations out there-their propagation, number and seasonal migrations. To find out, our reporter Yevgeniya Sidorova approached a competent expert, Dr. Vyacheslav Rozhnov, who is also in charge of the RAS Standing Expedition involved with animals entered in the Red Data Book of the RF, and other particularly significant species of Russia's fauna. We follow with the transcript of the interview.
Sea hare (APHYSIA). Ulyan Bay, Western part of the Sea of Okhotsk. July 2009. Photo, Olga Shpak
- The RAS Standing Expedition is studying certain arctic animal species. It has programs for the beluga, or white whale, and the polar (white) bear, for example. What is your greatest concern?
- Climate warming in the arctic regions entails certain consequences. Water is getting warmer, and ice receding to enable better passage through the Northern Sea Route off the Arctic Ocean's coast. There are greater opportunities for the exploration of these regions. New petroleum and natural gas deposits are being tapped. This problem recurred time and again at the Second International Forum held in Archangel in 2012, and it is going to become the central issue at the next multinational get-together of experts this year.
-Is it possible to evaluate changes related to climate warming over the last few decades on the basis of the available literary data on the migrations of sea animals, the white whale in particular, and your late ... Читать далее