K.S. Sudhi

The scientists will study climate change there

Fast-receding ice sheets there a palpable impact of climate change

Region’s microbial communities to be studied, inter alia

KOCHI: Indian scientists are all set to delve deep into the mysteries of climate change in a region where its impacts are visible most — the Arctic.

The fast-receding ice sheets of the Arctic region, due to the rising temperatures, are considered to be the palpable impact of climate change.

The second Indian expedition to the region is expected to reach the Indian station, Himadri, at Ny-Alesund on the Norway boundary on June 18. Fifteen countries, including India, have set up their stations at Ny-Alesund.

The summer expedition team will be led by A.A. Mohamed Hatha, Reader, Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research is the organiser of the expedition. The winter expedition to the region will begin in 2010.

The Indian contingent includes Sabu Thomas and Wilson Abraham of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram; Savita Kerkar of the Goa University and researchers Santanu Ray, Om Prakash and Rakesh Mishra. They will carry out research in the icy terrains till July 16.

Focus areas

One of the focus areas of research would be the microbial communities of the Arctic region. The community structure of microbes in relation to the climate change would be studied, Dr. Hatha told The Hindu.