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8:52 PM  July 22, 2020

TSU will study the "benefits" of global warming in Northern Eurasia

© предоставил Павел ВерещагинTSU will study the benefits of global warming in Northern Eurasia

TOMSK, Jul 22 – RIA Tomsk. Scientists of TSU launched a project to study the effects of global warming on the fauna and flora of Northern Eurasia; within next five years researchers will study areas of the Tomsk region, Ugra, the Taimyr Peninsula and partly the Far East, which are the first to respond to climate change, the university's press service said on Wednesday.

Earlier it was reported that Tomsk State University scientists and colleagues recorded an increase in the average annual temperature in Siberia and the Subarctic by four degrees over the past half century. They study the significance of these climatic changes and their consequences. The results of this work will be important for the development of a mechanism for the adaptation of mankind to global warming and survival under new conditions.

Both flora and fauna

According to the press service of the university, the next study is being conducted by an interdisciplinary group from the Biological Institute of TSU. The project is being implemented within the framework of a state assignment with the support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. Its task – is to assess what are the changes at different levels – from microorganisms and plants to vertebrates and invertebrates.

"Zoologists, microbiologists, botanists, phytochemists and other specialists will find out how global climate change affects the flora and fauna of Northern Eurasia. The accumulated data will be used to predict further changes in ecosystems", – is said in the statement.

It is added that scientists will have to study the fauna and animal world in different regions of the Tomsk region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra, on the Taimyr Peninsula and partly in the Far East for five years. The choice is due to the fact that the northern regions – the Arctic and Subarctic – are the first to respond to warming and it is here that the most noticeable changes occur.

According to TSU scientists, currently there are only fragmentary data on the impact of global warming on some species of flora and fauna in certain regions.

"The five-year project will provide a large amount of information. During the research it will be determined which species of plants and animals are in a vulnerable state, in which areas they need to be protected.

Ultimately, there will be obtained a vector of changes will be determined and an array of data sufficient to make predictions about the relative further development of natural ecosystems", – the head of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology Anastasia Simakova is quoted in the message.

Research objects

At the first stage of the project, researchers will select model species – those who can serve as an indicator of transformations.

"We plan to study bumblebees, because pollinating insects are especially sensitive to any environmental transformations. Mosquitoes will be studied. Thermophilic species, such as ants, are now beginning to appear in the northern regions. Insects that themselves show the greatest changes will be selected for further studies", – TSU entomologist Ruslan Bagirov is quoted.

© РИА Томск. Элеонора Черная
A separate block will be devoted to medicinal plants. These studies will be carried out by TSU phytochemists, who are searching for raw materials for the production of new pharmaceuticals based on plant raw materials.

Zoologists, in particular ornithologists and ichthyologists, will work with vertebrates. Attention will be paid not only to the animals themselves, but also to their parasites, potentially dangerous to humans. For example, specialists in invertebrate animals intend to study the prevalence of three types of trematodes – parasites of carnivores (bears, foxes, and others) and humans, whose intermediate hosts are fish.

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