The book “The Arctic. Current Issues and Challenges” published by Nova Science Publishers (USA) has presented research results by authors from Russia, France, Norway, Finland, and Canada. They contribute to an understanding of large-scale climatic changes occurring in the Arctic that serve as a starting point for the transformation of natural processes on the entire planet. Along with this, the data presented by scientists can play a large role in reducing environmental risks in the development of Arctic resources and organizing transport along the transarctic route.
The editors of the publication were Oleg Pokrovsky, a scientist at TSU and the University of Toulouse (France), Sergey Kirpotin, director of the TSU Center of Excellence Bio-Clim-Land, and Alexander Malov, a leading researcher at the Federal Center for Complex Research of the Arctic, Russian Academy of Sciences (Arkhangelsk, Russia).
- The Arctic is the point at which the research, political, and economic interests of many countries intersect,- says Sergey Kirpotin. – The Arctic ecosystems serve as a kind of indicator of what is happening on the planet, they are the first to respond to global warming. The changes that are now taking place in the Arctic are significant for the entire planet, so the attention of scientists around the world is focused on this “hot spot”. The Arctic as a whole warms up two times faster than other regions, and the Russian Arctic four times. We can say that in recent years there has been an “explosive” interest, and the number of journal articles devoted to the Arctic has tripled - from 1,400 in 2000 to 4,200 in 2018.
Along with this, it is in the Arctic that huge natural resources are concentrated (oil, natural gas, copper-nickel ores, rare earth elements, large reserves of gold, diamonds, and tungsten), which are now being fought for not only by the Arctic powers, but also countries that do not have direct access to the region and the Arctic seas. For example, China has already indicated its desire to actively participate in the development of Arctic routes for the transport of goods and is building its own icebreakers.
- There are a number of states that claim to extract unique natural resources and use transarctic routes for transporting goods,- says Sergey Kiroptin. - It is very difficult to develop the resources of the Arctic due to special climatic conditions. Therefore, in order to act effectively and at the same time with minimal environmental risks, we need competent approaches that take into account the particularities of the Arctic natural systems. The book, which we worked on with the scientist of TSU and the University of Toulouse Oleg Pokrovsky and our colleague from Arkhangelsk Alexander Malov, accumulates a large amount of data obtained in the course of research conducted in the Arctic by various scientific groups.
The book addresses a wide range of environmental, social, and economic issues related to the Arctic. The 14 chapters provide up-to-date reviews of indigenous communities, climate change, political issues, and the implementation of major projects. Considerable attention is paid to natural resources, environmental monitoring, and assessment of the problems of pollution.