TASS: Science & Space – Ice thawing stops flora and fauna development in the Arctic – scientists

MURMANSK, December 26. /TASS/. Scientists of the Murmansk Marine Biology Institute finished a big Arctic expedition, during which they made a few discoveries about the marine flora and fauna. The Institute’s Deputy Director General Pavel Makarevich told TASS the scientists now can explain why the water area, developing from ice thawing, remains uninhabited.

The scientists fixed the fact that the ice thawing – due to the warming – does not affect the ocean’s productivity, that is growth of flora and fauna, he said. “Formerly, we used to believe the less ice we have the more light the flora receives and thus the bigger becomes the photosynthesis and plankton’s development, and consequently the growing fauna, first of all the growing populations of commercial species,” he added.

The Murmansk biologists explain this situation by saying the ice is a natural storage of plankton’s spores, which get frozen into it, and in spring as the ice thaws they begin growing on the bottom. Thus, if there is no ice, the process stops, and plankton does not reproduce. Consequently, fish and marine animals would not come there. At the same time, the scientists say the ice reduction is temporary, and reverse developments will begin soon. The expedition’s other results, including those related to the Arctic’s pollution, would be published after the tests are processed, the scientist said, adding it would be around February 2018.

Trip to Spitsbergen

The Spitsbergen Archipelago is unique for studies, as it has been inhibited for quite a long time. The Institute continues research works in the archipelago’s area since the 1960s. The recent expedition took over the research, which scientists began in April and July. The Institute’s works were financed by the federal agency of scientific organizations.

The Institute’s 30-day trip on board the Dalniye Zelentsy research vessel was towards Spitsbergen. Scientists worked there and, on the route to the…

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