In vast remote taiga not far from the Yenisei river, where one can get only by helicopter within one third of the year, the construction of a huge 300-meter high mast is to be completed this summer. In the underground shelter under the mast, a research laboratory will be located, which is stuffed with the most contemporary scientific equipment. Researchers needed that in order to thoroughly investigate who or, more precisely, what is responsible for the greenhouse effect, where oxygen, carbonic acid gas and some other gases come from to Earths atmosphere, what part of carbonic acid Siberian swamps and forests manage to absorb, and to answer a lot of other questions, part of which seems trivial – but only to dilettantes.
The surprising construction is being erected in the framework of partnership project between the ISTC and the V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences ( Krasnoyarsk). The project is called “Response of Biogeochemical Cycles to Climate Change in Eurasia”. The project will be accomplished by Russian researchers in cooperation with their German colleagues – specialists of the Institute of Biogeochemistry (Jena) and the Institute for Chemistry (Mainz). Both these institutes are members of the largest in Europe Max Planck scientific community and are named after Max Planck.
However, the mast per se is not unique. A twin-mast has been installed in Germany and it allows to carry out similar investigations not in the forestland, like this Siberian one does, but in the region of exceptionally highly developed industry and agriculture. But together they will indeed provide a unique opportunity to compare the atmosphere composition in the regions with fundamentally different antropogenic load and to find out how and due to what the composition changes. As a result, the atmosphere composition can be analyzed, or more precisely – it is possible to determine concentration in it of the most important (from the point of view of this investigation) gases at different heights, right up to 300 meters. It will be possible to study not simply chemical but also isotopic composition. And this will be the very key, which will allow to reveal the contribution by antropogenic and natural components into the general gaseous exchange flow in the atmosphere.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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