Research drifting station North Pole-35 - Polar Year 2007/2008

V. T. Sokolov, I. M. Ashik - the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of Rosgidromet

Opening of the research station North Pole-35 has become a significant contribution of Russia into the Research Program of the International Polar Year 2007/2008 that has started on March 1, 2007, and continued the unique Russian research works on the drifting ice blocks in the Arctic Ocean. The ceremony of the station opening on the arctic ice was held on September 21, 2007 in the point with coordinates 81° 33'N and 103° 51'E.

The drifting station North Pole-35 was organized by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of Rosgidromet according to the orders of the Government of the Russian Federation, Maritime Board decision and the orders of Rosgidromet.

The station was designed for operation for about a year. The main types of works and researches performed at СП-35 were the following:
• conduction of year-round standard and special meteorological, ice and oceanographic monitoring;
• complex monitoring of the current state and pollution of environment in the station drifting region;
• studying of gas exchange in the atmosphere-ice-ocean system;
• conduction of special experiments aimed at research of the processes that determine climatic changes in Central Arctic and estimation of their effect on the environment and ecosystem of the Arctic region belonging to Russia.

The results of such experiments are the basis for improvement of the Arctic Ocean state monitoring, development of weather forecasting methods and Arctic climate models.

The main question which is almost always raised during large-scale field observation in Arctic is the following: is it worth spending considerable amount of energy and money to organize drifting stations and oceanological surveys in the water areas covered with ice?
The answer can only be positive. Climatic and oceanographic significance of the Arctic Ocean spreads far beyond its limits. The ice cover of the ocean has thermodynamic stability, stays the same for tens of thousands years and effects the global thermal balance thus effecting the climatic system of the whole globe.

СП-35 had been drifting in the central region of the Arctic Ocean for 298 days, having traveled 2,502 kilometers via a complex trajectory. However, in the beginning of July, due to the drifting station approach to Spitsbergen island, Rosgidromet decided to remove it from the ice. Scientific and research vessel Mikhail Somov, ice-breaker Arktika and helicopter Ми-8 were engaged in this operation. The station stopped working on July 16, 2008.

Regular Russian investigations in the Arctic Ocean with the use of drifting stations North Pole are not terminated. On September 7, 2008 the ceremony of Russian national flag raising was held on the drifting station North Pole-36.

СП-36 operation is aimed to development of home studies and scientific technologies in the high latitudes of Arctic, to improvement of the system of hydrometeorological support of marine economic activity and also to obtaining the estimates of the current state of the Arctic environment for planning the scenarios of its changes.

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# 4(26), 2008
Ocean and shelf exploration