Ural Federal University: Sverdlovsk Region’s First Carbon Polygon Begins Research Work

On the basis of Ural Federal University the work on creation of the carbon polygon “Ural-Carbon” is in progress. The program of the scientific and educational platform for carbon balance research received a positive conclusion of the expert council of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia.

The research work on the grounds of the polygon will start in the nearest future. By the end of summer the scientists will start to organize continuous monitoring of greenhouse gases concentration in the soil and atmosphere.

“To launch the platform in the Urals as soon as possible, we have initiated the creation of a consortium of universities, academic institutions and industrial partners – the Pipe Metallurgical Company and Sinara Group. This will allow to use the already developed intellectual and experimental base, as well as modern equipment,” said Victor Koksharov, rector of UrFU, about the preparation of the project.

The Ural-Carbon landfill will be represented by taiga forests. Forest lands account for 70% of the territory of the Sverdlovsk region, and taiga is one of the most important reservoirs of carbon runoff from the atmosphere due to photosynthesis and its long-term storage. Research sites will be the Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of Ural Federal University and the Ural educational and experimental farm of the Ural State Forestry University. The project will also involve the Ural State Agrarian University, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology Ural Branch of RAS, Institute of Industrial Ecology UB RAS, Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics UB RAS, Botanical Garden UB RAS.

To strengthen the research, new equipment and modular buildings will be available at the site by November. The project will be financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the government of the Sverdlovsk Region, and the polygon’s partners, including the Pipe Metallurgical Company.

“We are facing the task of ecological transformation of the sectors of the economy. This is especially important for Ural Federal District: large industrial enterprises are concentrated in our regions. Industry has been working on reducing the load on the environment for a long time: soon, carbon dumps will be created to monitor the spread of harmful emissions and look for ways to achieve carbon balance,” emphasized Vladimir Yakushev, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of Russia in the Urals Federal District.

It shall be added that the educational part of the project shall include increased training of specialists in the sphere of monitoring of climatically active gases. According to Victor Koksharov, the Sverdlovsk region and Ural Federal University have a serious scientific basis in research of climatically active gases, and new educational programs will be developed to train specialists. Moreover, specialized educational modules and interdisciplinary courses will appear. The Ural-Carbon test site will become an educational center with excursions, summer schools and master classes. More than 400 students will be involved in the work of the range.

“It is expected that after practicing the methods at the main sites of the landfill, a feature of the Ural landfill may be the monitoring of climatically active gases on self-overgrown farmland and in the areas of waste deposits, which is especially relevant for an industrialized region like the Sverdlovsk Region. We also expect to compare carbon emission and runoff when using different farming technologies: traditional, intensive and resource-saving,” said project manager, director of the Ural Federal University Botanical Garden Viktor Valdayskikh.

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