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In the Sverdlovsk Region, on the basis of the Kourovskaya Astronomical Observatory of the Ural Federal University (UrFU), the Ural-Carbon carbonic testing ground was opened. It was created under a pilot project of the Ministry of Education and Science as part of the national action plan for adaptation to climate change until 2022.

Carbon polygon “Ural-Carbon” on the basis of the Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of the Ural Federal University

“This is the second carbon polygon that we are opening in Russia as part of a pilot project of the Ministry of Education and Science. The first one appeared in August on the Kuchak lake in the Tyumen region. By the end of the year, the geography of research centers will expand. The plans include the opening of two more such facilities in Gelendzhik and Kaliningrad. In total, we plan to create 14 sites covering unique natural ecosystems in different regions of Russia. At the same time, we started training personnel to work for them. Let me remind you that additional educational programs have started at universities. The specialists of this landfill will also pass them. In addition, the staff of the Ural test site will work in close cooperation with the world-class REC, as well as scientists from the leading Ural universities and enterprises. This will allow achieving synergy and the most effective result, ”said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko.

The Ural Carboniferous polygon includes two sites with a total area of ​​more than 300 hectares. The main site is located at the Kourovka Observatory. The infrastructure necessary for studying carbon neutrality issues has been created there, modern research equipment has been installed, pulsating and stationary chamber systems for measuring greenhouse gas flows, laboratories and classrooms have been created.

The Ministry of Education and Science noted that the facility is unique due to the specifics of the region’s territory: there are many taiga forests in the Urals that reserve carbon sinks from the atmosphere, as well as industrial enterprises interested in environmental well-being and the early launch of carbon farms.

“Today we are launching another important element of the national carbon monitoring system. I hope that in the near future the carbonic polygon in the Sverdlovsk region will enter a continuous mode for remote and ground measurements of the carbon balance and the construction of digital maps of the ecosystems under study. The Ural region is one of the most important mining and metallurgical clusters in the country. Therefore, the Ural-Carbon landfill bears a special responsibility. It is necessary to offer the mining, metallurgical and other energy-intensive enterprises of the region a set of unique technologies that can not only remove the accumulated volume of CO2 from the atmosphere, but also compensate for the carbon footprint, or greenhouse gas emissions, ”said Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov.

The Ural-Carbon program has become part of the activities of the world-class Ural Interregional Scientific and Educational Center (REC). Participants of REC, scientists and specialists from UrFU, Ural Forestry, Mining and Agrarian Universities, specialized institutes of the regional branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a botanical garden joined in. In addition, the project is supported by large industrial enterprises of the Sverdlovsk region.

“The participation of the Sverdlovsk region as a pilot territory for the creation of a network of carbon polygons is of great importance for solving global environmental problems. The Middle Urals is the largest industrial center of the entire region, located on the border of Europe and Asia. And this border is not conditional, it really reflects changes in natural communities. This means that by studying the carbon balance here, scientists will be able to get truly representative data. We already have everything you need to implement the project today. The main thing is, of course, highly professional personnel – specialists from UrFU, institutes of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other scientific and educational centers. The support of the business community will serve to strengthen the material and technical base for solving these problems. It is important that the project will include not only scientific and production components, but also educational and educational parts. Our region will undoubtedly make every effort for a successful start of the project, ”commented the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Yevgeny Kuyvashev.

On the basis of the test site, in addition to studying the issues of carbon neutrality, an educational program will be launched, in which more than 400 students of specialized fields, professors, associate professors and graduate students of the university will be involved. A special course has already been prepared for future biologists; taking into account the specifics, training programs in the field of climatology, ecology and biotechnology are being adapted.

“Scientists of UrFU are internationally recognized experts in climate issues, the university has a corresponding laboratory. We have already created and are undergoing an examination of a program of additional education in the carbon economy, to which everyone can join, including specialized employees of the Ural enterprises, – said the rector of UrFU Viktor Koksharov. – Certainly, initiatives in the field of carbon neutrality are a global trend, therefore the team of the Ural-Carbon landfill is aimed at international cooperation. In particular, interest in the research of the Ural scientists has already been expressed in Finland and Germany – the carbon polygon of the Sverdlovsk region has been presented to the ambassadors of the republics in Russia. “

It should be noted that at the request of the enterprises of the Sverdlovsk region, UrFU specialists also grow plants for carbon farms in the botanical gardens of Yekaterinburg. The areas available in the region will be planted with highly productive plants to increase the rate of carbon dioxide binding. Scientists have foreseen the further utilization of such plants – they can be used as biofuel, as well as animal feed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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