MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – The climate shifts in the Arctic, caused by global warming, will be gradual and will not lead to any drastic changes in the region, Alexander Danilov, Deputy Director for Research at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said at a press conference hosted by RIA Novosti Friday.
"The Arctic will remain a cold pole, as it always has. This will not change," Danilov said.
"The [global] warming continues, and the Arctic, and Russia in general, especially its Arctic regions, is an area where this warming is most rapid and most apparent," Danilov said, noting, however, that "The ice is a strong system, but not to the extent as to lead to the disappearance of cold in the pole."
According to the expert, the multi-year ice in the Arctic will give way to seasonal ice, which will nevertheless preserve its thickness.
"Its [the ice's] thickness will be over 1 meter in the winter. And the ice blocks that are our main obstacle in the Arctic right now will remain about the same," Danilov noted, adding that the need for powerful ice breakers will remain.
Nevertheless, it will be somewhat easier for ships to sail in the Arctic in the future, which will facilitate the process of Arctic shelf development, Danilov said.
The expert stressed that the current Russian Arctic exploration system meets all of the industry requirements, but there is room for improvement. According to Danilov, international cooperation plays a crucial role in Arctic development.
"Our foreign partners are interested in getting data on direct observations in the Russian Arctic. That's why cooperation in conducting such observations in the Arctic is not suffering in any respect," Danilov said, adding that such cooperation will mostly likely continue in the future.
"Cooperation continues, with German and American maritime organizations. We plan to continue cooperation which has been going on for the past 15 years, neither Russia, nor the United States are canceling any of the current projects," Danilov noted.