Arctic: Back into the Future

SPbU Csmpus “Mikahylovskaya Dacha” hosts the UArctic Congress’s research session.

“Yesterday, we gathered in the SPbU’s historic building – today, in the state-of-the-art SPbU Campus. More than 500 Arctic researchers are here today, and they are planning to extensively discuss the Arctic and have 5,000 cups of coffee”, — said the University of the Arctic’s President Lars Kullerud in his opening speech.

The Congress had the penal reports of the following renowned scientists: Prof Thiede Jörn, Director of the “Palaeogeography and Geomorphology of Polar Countries and the World Ocean” laboratory, Prof Aleksandr Sergunin, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor at SPbU, and  Prof Shinichiro Tabata from Hokkaido University, who is also an expert in the Russian economy. Prof Thiede Jörn, in his speech "The Mystery of the Geological History of the Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Cover", told about how the climate in the Northern Eurasia would change in future. Climate change has a major impact on the northern regions and oceans, both their populations and infrastructure. To foresee how biological and physical conditions will change and how it will influence the habitats of the indigenous peoples locally and globally, the scientists need to understand how fast the environment changed in the past, which can be achieved by geological reports. The sea ice cover, most sensitive to environmental changes, can advance our understanding of how these changes occur. The rivers in Siberia, almost without exception, flow into the Arctic Ocean; although little is said and written about their history and evolution, this data nevertheless is key to our understanding of how the sea ice cover formed. Furthermore, freshwater flow into the ocean causes northern hemisphere cooling. The reason is, as Prof Thiede Jörn reckons, a continental collision in the past. To reconstruct how the climate changes occur, SpbU scientists are carrying out extensive paleomorphological research projects in Eurasia, with a special focus on the history of the river Lena, East Siberia’s longest river, from its head to the place where it flows into the Laptev Sea.

The UArctic Congress’s five-day programme features conference sessions "Vulnerability of Arctic Environments", "Vulnerability of Arctic Societies", "Local & Traditional Knowledge", "Building Long-term Human Capacity", and "New Markets for the Arctic", as well as the UArctic’s Rector and student forums, a presentation of a unique book about geo-marine explorations, a number of master-classes for yourng scientists, scientific discussions and others. The UArctic Congress is planned to be held every four years.


Background Info:

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of 180 universities, colleges, research institutes and other organisations from 16 countries concerned with education and research in and about the North. UArctic builds and strengthens collective resources and collaborative infrastructure that enables member institutions to better serve their constituents and their regions. Through cooperation in education, research and outreach we enhance human capacity in the North, promote viable communities and sustainable economies, and forge global partnerships.