Five new islands have reportedly come out because of melting glaciers in the remote Arctic as found out by the Russian navy.
The islands being referred to were charted by an expedition in August and September. The head of the Russian northern fleet, Vice-Admiral Alexander Moiseyev said that since the islands have come out for the first time form under the glaciers, they are yet to be named.
“Mainly this is of course caused by changes to the ice situation,” Moiseyev, who headed the expedition, said at a press conference in Moscow. “Before these were glaciers; we thought they were (part of) the main glacier.Melting, collapse and temperature changes led to these islands being uncovered.”
A United Nations report on global warming said last month that between 2015 and 2019, the loss of glaciers in the Arctic as recorded was more than any other five year period so far since records have been kept.
In recent years, a string of military and scientific bases in the Arctic have been opened by Russia. There has been rising interest in the region because increase in temperatures have created new shipping routes and has opened up the possibility of exploiting mineral resources that were virtually inaccessible till now.
This summer’s expedition to two archipelagoes – Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya – involved a team of 60 people, including civilians from the Russian Geographic Society, and was the first onboard a rescue towboat instead of an icebreaker.
The expedition members had captured the video of an angry walrus that had attacked the inflatable landing craft of the members had gone viral on the internet last month.
“The two months this year when we held our expedition to Franz Josef Land can be described as warm,” said Denis Krets, commander of the northern fleet’s expedition force. “We were very lucky because we could land on islands where not every year the shore and the inshore water is free of ice.”
Vize Bay off Novaya Zemlya, a vast mountainous archipelago with two main islands, was the place where five new islands were found during the expedition, the Russian defence ministry said. The expedition had also managed to confirm the presence of an island which past expeditions had marked as a peninsula of Hall Island – a part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, west of Novaya Zemlya, the ministry also said.
Names for the new islands were “upcoming”, Moiseyev said.
“Of course each island will receive a name but first you have to lay out the case for it,” he said.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)