Russian-American Initiative on Shelf-Land Environments in the Arctic

Project Description
The Russian-American Initiative on Shelf-Land Environments in the
Arctic (RAISE) facilitates collaborative research between Russian and
American scientists studying terrestrial, shelf, and ocean
environments in northern Eurasia in the context of global
change. RAISE is a multi-disciplinary initiative aimed at integrating
scientific understanding of global change in the Arctic at the
land-sea boundary over prehistoric, historic, and current time
frames. An international scientific steering committee promotes this
effort, and a project office, located at the University of Alaska in
Fairbanks, provides research support.

The following research problems, identified during scientific
workshops supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the
Russian Fund for Basic Research, led to the development of the RAISE

1. Among the great unknowns in climate prediction is the potential for
release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane from
peat and permafrost as climate warms at higher latitudes. Some of the
largest coastal erosion rates in the world are already occurring in
the Russian Arctic, and the ultimate transport and fate of resultant
large fluxes of organic carbon into the Arctic Ocean are poorly

2. The volume of river runoff in the Arctic may also be altered by
global change, and changes in the freshwater content of the Arctic
Ocean are likely to have consequences for formation of sea ice cover
and thermohaline circulation over the Arctic-North Atlantic climate

3. The retreat of sea ice over the vast Eurasian continental shelves
will also have direct impacts on biological productivity, will
affect marine mammals and birds, and, ultimately, will impact
subsistence communities in both Russia and Alaska who depend
upon current climate and hydrographic patterns.

Contact Information:

Dr. Vladimir Romanovsky
Geophysical Institute
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 757320
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, U.S.A.

Telephone: +1.907.474.7459
Fax: +1.907.474.7290

For more information,
link to

[Summary provided by ADCC]