The 3rd National Arctic Scientific Research Expedition became a laboratory for scientists from Brazil, Czechia and Norway within the scope of international bilateral cooperation.
Foreign scientists conducted studies on how the ecosystem, fish and phytoplankton adapted to the Arctic Ocean are affected by climate change.
On the other hand, studies were carried out on the new trade routes opened due to the melting of sea ice in the Arctic region and the periods in which they were opened.
3rd National Arctic Scientific Research Expedition Coordinator Prof. Dr. Burcu Özsoy, in her statement, said that it was very valuable to have foreign participants on the expedition.
Comparing the Antarctic and Arctic expeditions, Özsoy said:
“We included foreign scientists in our Antarctic expeditions every year, especially within the framework of the agreements we made with countries. Another first thing we realized this year was the participation of foreign scientists in our Arctic expedition. This is very valuable for us because international cooperation becomes very meaningful in the polar regions, You are in an isolated environment and the scientific unification of countries adds a great strength to the work done.”
prof. Dr. Explaining that there were participants from Brazil, Czechia and Norway in this year’s research expedition, Özsoy said, “Both the cooperation with Turkish scientists and the participation of foreign scientists in the field in our expeditions, the presentation of joint studies to the scientific community in scientific articles to be published in the coming years. It is a factor that increases the power of our country at the table in terms of diplomacy,” he said.
“One of the biggest risks in terms of maritime is the distance from the mainland”
Meriç Karahalil, who participated in the scientific research expedition from the Maritime Studies Institute of the Norwegian University of Applied Sciences within the scope of international bilateral cooperation, stated that they started from Tromso Port and completed the voyage by covering 3 thousand nautical miles.
Karahalil stated that there are various developments in the Arctic region, especially in the maritime area, and an increase in tourism and fishing activities.
Karahalil, who stated that they determined that the information obtained from the device showing the depth while cruising to the Svalbard region did not match the data on the map, gave the information that one of the biggest risks in terms of maritime is the distance to the mainland.
Karahalil said, “Many large and small tourism boats and many cruise ships cruise in these regions. It takes time for ships currently cruising in this region from a distance of 500-600 miles to reach these regions in case of any possible emergency.” he said.
“Maritime activities are increasing in the Arctic and there are various risks in maritime activities here. We aim to identify these risks within the scope of this expedition, to make various analyzes and to make practical suggestions as to the result of the voyage. Currently, sea ice during the voyage, instantaneously changing weather patterns, depths, etc. We have observed significant risks in terms of navigational safety and we have found that there are differences in the practices recommended by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for vessels navigating in polar waters and used by regional seafarers in practice, as well as inconsistencies in sea charts.”
Meriç Karahalil explained that they aim to make practical suggestions in order to increase voyage and navigation safety and sustainability with their project, adding that they plan to present the practical suggestions they will create after the evaluation, analysis and various interviews they will make within the scope of the study, with an article in the literature.
“The warming of the water threatens the lives of the fish”
Participant of the 3rd National Arctic Scientific Research Expedition Jasna Vukic, PhD, from the Department of Ecology at Charles University, gave information about the project she carried out within the scope of the 3rd National Arctic Scientific Research Expedition and made the following assessment:
“Under normal conditions, there are certain climatic and environmental conditions in which enzymes function very well. But in very cold polar seas, fish also have to undergo special evolutionary adaptations to these conditions. Because fish are cold-blooded organisms, which means their internal temperature depends on the external temperature. Therefore, some enzymes have to undergo changes in order to function in these very cold waters.
Vukic stated that any change in the climate directly affects the fish, and said that with the warming of the water, the lives of the fish are also threatened.
“We sampled phytoplankton from seawater along the route”
Chariane Camila Werlang, who participated in the expedition from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, stated that she has been working on phytoplankton in Antarctica since 2015.
Stating that they conducted phytoplankton sampling from sea water along the route within the scope of cooperation with TÜBİTAK MAM KARE, Werlang said:
“We performed DNA sequencing studies and pigment and chlorophyll analyzes to determine the phytoplankton diversity in the Arctic region. Thus, we aimed to compare the ecosystems in the two polar regions by evaluating the results together with the data obtained by both the study group and TÜBİTAK MAM KARE in Antarctica in the past years.”