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Russia discovers 5 islands under the Arctic ice as glacier melts

Aug 29, 2019, 10:08 am

A Russian naval expedition team has discovered five Arctic islands under the Nansen glacier in the cove of Vize off the northeastern shore of Novaya Zemlya as glaciers are melting rapidly due to climate change.  The islands vary in size, the smallest one is of 900 square meters whereas the largest one is of 54,500 square meters.

Members of the expedition team have already made claims to one of the found Arctic islands with a compact disc which contains photograph as proof. This should be mentioned that the expedition team is not the first one to have discovered islands under the Arctic ice. Maria Migunova while studying at a naval university first spotted the islands back in 2016. But her claims lacked solid footing as, according to the defense ministry, geographical points are added on maps only after a physical visit to the site in concern.

This is not the single incident where islands have almost surfaced in the Arctic. In 2015-18, the hydrographic service observed more than 30 islands, capes, and bays near Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land for the first time through satellite monitoring.

More similar islands are to be found in the future, and this is not a word-of-mouth claim but has scientific data backing. According to a U.S. study, the Franz Josef Land glacier has melted twice as much between the years 2011 and 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at an Arctic conference in April that the temperature at the Arctic is increasing 4x faster than the rest of the world. Russia is also to blame for this catastrophe.

Russia has been expanding its presence in the Arctic, and only last week it sent a nuclear power plant, Academic Lomonosov, across the Arctic Ocean to provide electricity to Chukotka region. The nuclear plant has been labeled by activists against climate change as “Chernobyl on ice.

The expedition team at the Novaya Zemlya, and Franz Josef land are collecting scientific data from those regions, and the team is also dedicated to raising Russian flags over historic sites which includes a meteorological station destroyed by a Nazi U-boat in 1943 in that region.

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