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Thursday, 24 October 2019

The melting of the Arctic revealed 5 new islands that we did not know before ...


During an expedition to the archipelago François-Joseph (located in the extreme north of Russia), five new islands that we did not know before were discovered in New Zembla. Why are we discovering these islands now? Simply because of global warming, which melts glaciers and thus reveals lands so far covered with ice ...

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It was during a press conference marking the completion of a naval expedition that went to the far north, to François-Joseph Land (a group of islands in the far north). from Russia, which lies in the Barents Sea, north of New Zent and east of Svalbard) that the discovery of these islands was made public. Covered with ice, they total 16,134 square kilometers and are uninhabited.


At present, Vice Admiral Alexander Moiseyev of the Russian fleet explained that new islands had been revealed by the melting of glaciers in this region. " This is mainly due to changes in the ice situation ," Moiseyev said. " We thought they were part of the main glacier [called Vylki, aka Nansen]. The melting, the collapse and the changes of temperature led to the discovery of these islands, "he added.

The discovery was announced for the very first time by the Russian Ministry of Defense last August. However, in reality, this discovery dates back to 2016, when the student engineer Marina Migunova observed unknown land masses on satellite images, while she was working on a research paper.

This image of NASA shows the archipelago François-Joseph. The Russian army has announced that five new islands have been discovered in the area after the melting of the Nansen Glacier. Credits: NASA / Gsfc / Meti / ERSDAC / Jaros & US / Japan Aster Science Team

During the new expedition, marine researchers studied the topography of the five islands located in Vize Bay on Severny Island in New Zent and emerged from their ice sheets by 2014.

In size, these islands range from very small to very large: indeed, two of them have a very small area (the smallest is only 30 meters by 30 meters), but the largest is large and covers a region approximately 54,500 square meters.

With regard to the long-term stability of newly emerging emerging masses, it is still too early to say. Why ? Simply because the retreat of the glaciers destabilizes the lands below, which lose a layer of fortifying ice.

" Today it is difficult to draw conclusions as to their importance and their life span ," Russian captain Alexei Kornis, head of the Northern Fleet Hydrographic Service, said, pointing out that a glaciologist who had Part of the expedition had suggested that these islands might well have a lifespan of a decade (or even less) only.

Despite the fact that these new lands have only been exposed in the open for a few years, life forms have already colonized them. Kornis stated that he had observed algae, plants and birds, as well as traces of larger animals in these emerging ecosystems. " We found the remains of a seal killed by a bear. So if all of this succeeds in taking root, the islands will survive, "said Kornis.

In any case, what is certain is that while the planet is warming more and more because of climate change, these five islands are just one of the first transformations that will undergo the surface of the Earth.


This new Russian naval expedition has not only confirmed the discovery of five new islands ... During the voyage, a sixth previously unknown land mass was also discovered, located in a newly formed strait in the archipelago François-Joseph. Previously, this island had been confused with an existing peninsula.

The Russian Navy claims that these new lands are not the only ones and join a list of at least a dozen new islands that have appeared in the Arctic region in recent years.

According to the experts, in view of the global situation regarding global warming, we should not be " shocked " by these discoveries: " The discovery of islands while the Nansen glacier retreats is not a surprise, because a glacier is simply a river of ice that carries compacted snow and ice from the highlands to the sea, "said oceanographer Tom Rippeth of Bangor University, Wales.

" As the climate warms, the glaciers shrink and expose the lands below. This is another symptom of the ongoing warming in the Arctic: in this region, the temperature is 5 to 6 degrees Celsius more on average , because of climate change ... ", he added.

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