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Vol 4, No 3 (2011)


4-18 514
Both palaeogeographical reconstructions and general circulation models indicate that global warming is especially strongly manifested in high latitudes. Under a 2°C increase in mean global temperature, almost the entire modern tundra zone would become potentially suitable for tree growth. Nevertheless, palaeobotanic data cannot be applied directly to estimating vegetation response to the global warming expected in the 21st century, as they characterize a quasi-equilibrium state of ecosystems, which takes several centuries to be achieved. Low migration rates of trees, damage caused by fires and insects, processes of soil drying or paludification, and influence of herbivorous animals and human activities may slow down considerably forest spread in tundra. Climate warming will probably cause a decline in the populations of Arctic species and expansion of ranges of some southern animal species into the Arctic.
19-33 408
Paper presents the results of comparative analysis of the satellite images data about the glacier state in glacier systems of Byrranga, Suntar-Khayata, and Chersky ranges (2003) with the data given in the Glacier Inventory of the USSR (1945, 1967 and 1970). We studied change of glacier area since the Glacier inventory compilation, which was based mainly on areal-photo and visual services with the satellite (LANDSAT) images data. The retreated glaciers have been analyzed by groups, sorted by the same aspect and morphological type of a glacier in terms of the rate of reduction. In total glacierization of Chersky Range reduced by about 30% (1970–2003), Suntar-Khayata by 20% (1945–2003), Byrranga—by 17% (1967–2003).
The method for projection of glacier systems development in 2049–60 is applied for NE Asia Mountains using the ECHAM 4,5 and some other climatic scenarios. We have considered continental glacier systems (Suntar-Khayata, Chersky, Orulgan) and temperate-marine ones (Kamchatka). The method involves construction of vertical balance profiles for baseline and projected period, hypsographic schemes of ice distribution via altitude in a glacier system. The results of the method application to the glacier systems of the NE Asia are discussed in the paper.
34-51 408
Barents Sea is an area of great geopolitical and economical importance, as well as an indicator of sustainable development of the Russian Federation in Arctic region. The article presents generalization made for the Barents Sea coastline. For each area a brief description of distinct geomorphologic features and coastal dynamics is outlined. The environmental forcing factors and conditions, which determine the development and present coastal dynamics at Barents Sea, are examined.


52-67 416
In the present and future development of the Arctic region, much attention is and will be given to environmental problems. Along with social and economic, these issues are the most essential components of a model of sustainable development of the region. Cartographic studies implemented in the atlas format (either printed or electronic) provide the most comprehensive, adequate, and complete representation of the Arctic environment. Such Atlas will serve as a basis for creation of the Atlas Information System “Environment of the Arctic.” The material presented herein describes the purpose of the Atlas and its scientific-methodological principles. The Atlas includes 7 parts (thematic blocks) and over 18 sub-blocks that characterize natural and anthropogenic factors of formation of the natural environment, the state of the natural environment, population ecology, and efforts of Russian and international organizations aimed at optimization of the regional environment. The material also presents methodological features of the Atlas and its role in the study and management of Arctic territories.
68-84 426
It is now widely recognized that significant proportion of pollutants in rivers is transported with suspended sediments. This paper presents a combination of reconstruction of recent floodplain sedimentation rates based on detailed description of sediment sections and 137Cs stratigraphy with geochemical analysis of overbank deposits at selected sites on rivers of the Severnaya Dvina River basin. Overbank sedimentation rates for sections sampled on floodplains of the Severnaya Dvina and Vychegda Rivers are characterized by noticeable decrease from ≈1.5–4.0 cm/year between 1954 and 1963 to <1.0 cm/year at present. It can be explained by the natural evolution of the floodplain segments sampled. In contrast, highest modern floodplain aggradation rates (≈1.8 cm/year) observed for the relatively small Toshnya River are definitely associated with human impact—locally intensive agriculture. Evaluation of geochemical properties of overbank sediments has shown that general levels of the sediment contamination by heavy metals are low.
85-113 663
The overview of the 20-years joint Russian-German multidisciplinary researches in the Arctic are represented in this article. Data were obtained during numerous marine and terrestrial expeditions, all-year-round measurements and observations. On the basis of modern research methods including satellite observation, radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating of the Arctic sea sediments, isotope, biochemical and other methods, the new unique records were obtained. Special emphasis devoted to the latest data concerning modern sea-ice, ocean and sedimentation processes, evolution of the permafrost and paleoenvironments in the Laptev Sea System.
114-128 465
Map development for ecologically vulnerable zones and regions of water areas and shorelines with priority protection against spills of oil and oil products is important because of (1) the population’s concern about the growing technological load on nature, and (2) the need to comply with the existing state legislation. At present there is no general methodology for development of vulnerability maps in Russian Federation. The integral maps to be used in prevention and control of oil spills should represent data about ecological vulnerability to oil of both coastal and water ecosystems and information about legally protected objects, zones and regions. A set of maps showing absolute and relative integral vulnerability of particular water areas allows analyzing spatial-temporal dynamics of this indicator. The most vulnerable areas (regions) of the water area could be selected, as well as the most dangerous seasons. Recommendations are elaborated in order to organize the most effective protection of the environment against any possible emergency spills of oil and oil products.


129-138 490
The paper presents a problem of preservation of cultural landscapes of indigenous peoples as a part of national cultural heritage of Russia. The structure and features of aboriginal cultural landscapes of the North that reflect semiotic arrangement of areas under economic development are discussed. This paper also focuses on the problem of identification and mapping of real and virtual aboriginal cultural landscapes of the North and their ecological—economic functions.


139-152 226

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)