The results of the study, which was carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Russian Science Foundation, were published in the journal Anthropocene.
At the beginning of the last century, glaciers and icebergs were actively melting in the Arctic – because of this, sea currents and river flow intensified. But that period ended in the first half of the 20th century. In the past few decades, warming has become more intense, its pace is accelerating. As a result, strong currents wash out and carry the bottom sediments of the shelf seas to the deep water regions of the Arctic ocean. The rate of precipitation accumulation in the seas is falling, and this affects the entire ecosystem of the Arctic.
Living at the bottom benthic organisms are the main food of fish, which feed on seals and walruses.
“Changing the bottom composition will lead to significant changes in the food chain”, said Valery Rusakov, doctor of geological and mineralogical sciences, leading researcher at the Environmental Radiochemistry Laboratory.
Scientists believe that the processes at the Arctic shelf bottom are also associated with increased soil erosion due to the reduction in the area of Siberian forests, so negative forecasts can become real much earlier than expected.