Sergey Zimov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sergey Aphanasievich Zimov
Zimov.jpg
S.A. Zimov overlooking the Siberian landscape
Born July 1955
Residence Sakha Republic, Russia
Institutions Northeast Science Station, Cherskii, RU
Alma mater Far East State University, Vladivostok, Russia
Known for The Northeast Science Station, Pleistocene Park, global carbon and methane cycles, Pleistocene ecosystem reconstruction
Notable awards Wolf Vishniac Award (1991)

Sergey Aphanasievich Zimov (Russian: Серге́й Афанасьевич Зимов) is a Russian scientist who serves as the Director of the Northeast Science Station and is one of the founders of Pleistocene Park.[1] He is best known for his work in advocating the theory that human overhunting of large herbivores during the Pleistocene caused Siberia’s grassland-steppe ecosystem to disappear and for raising awareness as to the important roles permafrost and thermokarst lakes play in the global carbon cycle.

Biography, Life, and Work[edit]

Sergei Zimov is a Russian scientist who resides in Cherskii, Sakha Republic, Russia. He studied and received his degree in geophysics from Far East State University, located in Vladivostok, Russia.[2]

Zimov founded the Northeast Science near Cherskii in 1977.[3] Twelve years later, in 1988, he initiated the Pleistocene Park project.[4] In 1991, Sergei Zimov was awarded the Wolf Vishniac Award at the 4th International Society for Environmental Biochemistry Conference.

Professional Highlights and Accomplishments[edit]

Northeast Science Station[edit]

Coordinates: 69 degrees 30 minutes North latitude, 161 degrees 30 minutes East longitude[5]

Overview of the Northeast Science Station, Cherskii, Russia
View from the Northeast Science Station

Sergei Zimov is the director of the Northeast Science Station.[6] Located near Cherskii, Russia on the mouth of the Kolyma River, 150 kilometers south of the Arctic Ocean, the station serves as a year-round base for international Arctic research.[7] Founded in 1977,[8] the Northeast Science Station boasts three laboratories, a network of field sites, tools for data analysis and communication, transportation, accommodation for visiting researchers,[9] and a year round staff of six.[10] A barge floating on the Kolyma River serves as a traveling dormitory and laboratory.[11]

Permafrost and Methane[edit]

In collaboration with Dr. Terry Chapin and Dr. Katey Walter-Anthony, Sergei Zimov has published a series a collection of scientific papers exposing the importance of permafrost and high-latitude carbon dioxide and methane emissions in the global carbon cycle. These papers identified methane ebullition from thermokarst lakes to be a significant source of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas.[12]

Permafrost is a large global carbon reservoir which has remained frozen throughout much of the Holocene.[13] Due to recent climate change, the permafrost is beginning to thaw, releasing stored carbon and forming thermokarst lakes.[14][15] When the thawed permafrost enters the thermokarst lakes, its carbon is converted into carbon dioxide and methane and released into the atmosphere.[16][17][18] Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the methane emissions from thermokarst lakes have the potential to initiate a positive feedback cycle in which increased atmospheric methane concentrations lead to amplified global climate change, which in turn leads to more permafrost thaw and more methane and carbon dioxide emissions.[19][20]

Pleistocene Park[edit]

For more information see Pleistocene Park

Restored grasslands in Pleistocene Park

Zimov initiated the Pleistocene Park project in 1988 in Northeast Siberia near the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Republic of Sakha, Russia.[21] Pleistocene Park seeks to test the hypotheses that large herbivores maintained the Pleistocene tundra steppe and that overhunting by humans caused both the animals and Pleistocene ecosystem to vanish.[22]

The grassland-steppe ecosystem which dominated Siberia during the Pleistocene disappeared 10,000 years ago and was replaced by mossy and forested tundra.[23] Concurrently, many of the large herbivores who roamed Siberia during the Pleistocene, including mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, bison, horses, musk oxen, elk, saiga, and yaks, vanished from the region.[24] Today, reindeer and moose are the only surviving large herbivores to roam Siberia.[25] Zimov and colleagues believe that humans, with their constantly improving technology, overhunted the large herbivores and led to their extinction and extirpation. Without herbivores grazing and trampling over the land, mosses, shrubs, and trees were able to take over and replace the grassland ecosystem.[26]

At Pleistocene Park, Zimov is attempting to recreate the Pleistocene grasslands to demonstrate that the grasslands would have persisted into the Holocene if humans did not overhunt the herds of Pleistocene herbivores which roamed and maintained the ecosystem. He has demonstrated that grasses take over the landscape 1–2 years after mosses are anthropogenically removed.[27] According to Zimov, re-introducing large herbivores to Siberia would initiate a positive feedback loop promoting the reestablishment of grassland ecosystems: “The animals, their hooves, they disturb the moss and let grasses grow instead. The soil dries out, the animals deposit their fertilizer, the grass grows more, and more animals can graze.”[28]

Current efforts in the park include reintroducing surviving Pleistocene megafauna into the fenced enclosure until they reach densities to change the vegetation and soil to a steppe grassland ecosystem.[29] Pleistocene Park currently covers an area of 160 square kilometers[30] and contains less than 100 large mammals[31] representing six major herbivore species (horses, moose, reindeer, muskox, elk, and bison).[32] Zimov’s goal for Pleistocene Park is to increase the number of large herbivores to 20 per square kilometer then begin reintroducing predators, including wolves, bears, and Siberian tigers.[33]

Selected Publications[edit]

  • Walter, K.M., M. E. Edwards, G. Grosse, S. A. Zimov, F. S. Chapin III. "Thermokarst Lakes as a Source of Atmospheric CH4 During the Last Deglaciation." Science 318.5850 (2007): 633-636. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/318/5850/633
    • This paper estimates that 33-87% of high-latitude increases in atmospheric methane originate from thermokarst lakes. It is suggested that sediments which have been frozen since the Pleistocene, called yedoma, will have high methane-releasing potential as they thaw due to climate change.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Northeast Science Station of Cherskii, Russia." 11 Dec. 2006. Web. http://terrychapin.org/station.html
  2. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  3. ^ Pleistocene Park and the North-East Scientific Station official website http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/
  4. ^ Pleistocene Park and the North-East Scientific Station official website http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/
  5. ^ Earth Exploration Toolbook http://serc.carleton.edu/eet/permafrost/case_study.html>
  6. ^ Northeast Science Station http://terrychapin.org/station.html
  7. ^ Northeast Science Station http://terrychapin.org/station.html
  8. ^ Pleistocene Park and the North-East Scientific Station official website http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/
  9. ^ Northeast Science Station http://terrychapin.org/station.html
  10. ^ Polar Field Services Newsletter http://www.polarfield.com/blog/tag/northeast-science-station/
  11. ^ Polar Field Services Newsletter http://www.polarfield.com/blog/tag/northeast-science-station/
  12. ^ University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Methane Bubbling From Arctic Lakes, Now and At End Of Last Ice Age." ScienceDaily, 26 Oct. 2007. Web. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071025174618.htm
  13. ^ Zimov, S.A., E.A.G. Schuur, F. S. Chapin III. "Permafrost and the Global Carbon Budget." Science 312.5780 (2006): 1612-1613. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/312/5780/1612
  14. ^ University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Methane Bubbling From Arctic Lakes, Now and At End Of Last Ice Age." ScienceDaily, 26 Oct. 2007. Web. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071025174618.htm
  15. ^ Zimov, S.A., E.A.G. Schuur, F. S. Chapin III. "Permafrost and the Global Carbon Budget." Science 312.5780 (2006): 1612-1613. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/312/5780/1612
  16. ^ Walter, K.M., M. E. Edwards, G. Grosse, S. A. Zimov, F. S. Chapin III. "Thermokarst Lakes as a Source of Atmospheric CH4 During the Last Deglaciation." Science 318.5850 (2007): 633-636. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/318/5850/633
  17. ^ Walter, K.M., S. A. Zimov, J. P. Chanton, D. Verbyla & F. S. Chapin III. "Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming." Nature 443.7107 (2006): 71-75. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7107/abs/nature05040.html
  18. ^ Zimov S.A., Y.V. Voropaev, I.P. Semiletov, S.P. Davidov, S.F. Prosiannikov, F.S. Chapin III, M.C. Chapin, S. Trumbore, S. Tyler. "North Siberian Lakes: A methane source fueled by Pleistocene carbon." Science 277.5327 (1997): 800. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/277/5327/800?ck=nck
  19. ^ Walter, K.M., S. A. Zimov, J. P. Chanton, D. Verbyla & F. S. Chapin III. "Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming." Nature 443.7107 (2006): 71-75. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7107/abs/nature05040.html
  20. ^ Zimov S.A., Y.V. Voropaev, I.P. Semiletov, S.P. Davidov, S.F. Prosiannikov, F.S. Chapin III, M.C. Chapin, S. Trumbore, S. Tyler. "North Siberian Lakes: A methane source fueled by Pleistocene carbon." Science 277.5327 (1997): 800. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/277/5327/800?ck=nck
  21. ^ Pleistocene Park and the North-East Scientific Station official website http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/
  22. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  23. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  24. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  25. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  26. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  27. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  28. ^ Fowler, Adam. "Siberian Window on the Ice Age." BBC News. 2 July 2007. Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6246926.stm
  29. ^ Zimov, S.A. "Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem." Science 308.5723 (2005): 796-798. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/308/5723/796.pdf
  30. ^ Fowler, Adam. "Siberian Window on the Ice Age." BBC News. 2 July 2007. Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6246926.stm
  31. ^ Fowler, Adam. "Siberian Window on the Ice Age." BBC News. 2 July 2007. Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6246926.stm
  32. ^ Pleistocene Park and the North-East Scientific Station official website http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/
  33. ^ Fowler, Adam. "Siberian Window on the Ice Age." BBC News. 2 July 2007. Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6246926.stm