Siberia is on fire. This week in science
A gadget from Tomsk will clean up Arctic reservoirs from oil spills. Siberian forests are burning more often now than ten years ago. Taiga.info delves into the most interesting science news of the week.
AeroProbe will help to clean Arctic waterways
Tomsk State University has partnered with Lukoil to clean up the stream in the Komi Republic of oil spills. The discharge of wastewater contaminated with oil products has led to the water pollution in the region for many years.
Scientists will use the AeroProbe device to collect oil from the bottom of the reservoir via the molecular adhesion of oil hydrocarbons to air bubbles. In the early 2000s, AeroProbe raised 157 tons of oil from the bottom of Lake Shchuchye in the Komi Republic.
Wildfires cause heat anomalies for years to come
Krasnoyarsk scientists have discovered thermal anomalies that persist for decades after wildfires. In summer, such anomalies double the rate of permafrost thawing. As a result, the forest regions of Siberia turn into swamps.
Scientists have studied soil degradation in Evenkia: it turned out that wildfires damaged about 12 million hectares of larch forests over 20 years. The average number of fires has increased sixfold over the past 10 years.
Tiny algae help assess the health of Arctic lakes
Scientists of the North-Eastern Federal University use microscopic diatom algae to monitor the state of the lakes of Yakutia.
Ancient spores and pollen provide information on the vegetation and climate of the past. Knowing the ecological preferences of different groups of diatoms, scientists can find out what conditions existed during their lifetime. For example, one type of algae does not like salt water, while others live only in cold water bodies. This research helps to understand how the environment is changing.
Elia Kabanov is a science writer covering the past, present, and future of technology.
Follow him on Twitter: @metkere