OMP > Research > Cross-cutting actions > Arctic variability, inter action and feedbacks

Arctic variability, inter action and feedbacks

Arctic: variability, interactions and feedback

AST_poster A4.pdf 232.31 kB

The Arctic has been a new field of work for the CNRS since 2010. The manifestation of climate warming is particularly severe and spectacular: reduced ground snow cover time and ice volume in Greenland, retreat of the permafrost and rapid reduction of the southern ice floes with its virtually total seasonal disappearance in perspective on a horizon of a few decades, with all that this means in terms of feedback effects on the climate system, and also for its impacts on human activities in the Arctic Ocean and its periphery (traditional lifestyles, maritime traffic, oil and mining exploration, fishing, etc.). Effects on the environment are also being felt. Beyond the cryosphere, major environmental disturbances in all compartments of the climate system have clearly shown up in the last few decades, with a visible or expected impact on marine and continental ecosystems, biodiversity, the greenhouse gas cycle and all the continental, atmospheric and oceanic physico-chemical equilibria.

Scientific activities around these issues for the Arctic region have been developed over the last few years in the OMP and its academic and non-academic partner laboratories. Several national and international projects have already led to the development of databases, products, methodology, models and skills which are the driving force at the Toulouse centre for setting up new projects. This AST will promote this Toulouse expertise and the multidisciplinary approach that is necessary to improve our understanding of the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem and to tackle the question of adaptation to climate changes. The transverse research area is motivated by the need to create a synergy on this issue which has strongly international socio-economic implications.

Involved in this AST are some twenty researchers from all the laboratories of the OMP, the CNRM-GAME, MERCATOR and the CLS. It is supported by the resources of existing projects and its purpose is to coordinate collegial actions to respond to future calls for tender from the French Arctic work field and the Horizon 2020 programme.

The two main objectives of the Arctic AST are:

- create a network of researchers from different scientific fields to facilitate data acquisition, the use of tools, the exchange of ideas and the setting up of emerging projects.

- give visibility to work carried out by the OMP researchers and partner Toulouse laboratories with the eventual aim of becoming a competitive centre on the Arctic on a national and international level.

Three themes are especially tackled in this AST:

• The melting of the permafrost: interactions between hydrology, vegetation and biogeochemical cycles. This AST project will address: (1) the characterisation of mechanisms for the formation of flows of water in permafrost regions; (2) an understanding of the representativeness of systems targeted in our studies (the problem of change of scale and extrapolation to regional scale); (3) assessment of the consequences of the melting of the permafrost on the supply of water and mineral and organic matter in the Arctic ocean; (4) an understanding of the mechanisms of vertical and lateral exchanges in greenhouse gases in the hydro-ecosystems of permafrost regions.

• "Man-Environment interactions in the Arctic Regions" (InHERA): this project corresponds to the InHERA project, validated and financed under the AAP "Transversality" of the Toulouse Idex. Its aim is to mobilise a wide range of approaches on the Toulouse site (environmental science, biological and health science, economic and social science) around issues of impacts on environmental changes on societies and health in the Arctic regions and the adaptation of societies. This will involve round table discussions, workshops, etc. to prepare structured and credible multidisciplinary responses to future calls for projects, especially under H2020;

• The retreat of the Arctic ice floes, its effects and interactions. This project is aimed at: (1) improving estimates of the thickness and volume of ice in the Arctic ocean by satellite measurements to provide data for forecasting models; (2) studying the dynamics of the ice in coastal and estuary regions, taking into account processes specific to these regions; (3) improving our knowledge on remote atmospheric connections between medium and high latitudes and documenting them on seasonal and climatic scales, and in terms of their relation to the regional climate.

Current Projects AST Arctic (May 2015)


Acronyms Titles Scientific Contacts Major funding

TOMCAR Permafrost


Terrestrial organic matter -and associated contaminants (for example, Mercury)- characterization in Arctic river through molecular and isotopic analyses

Roman Teisserenc


Commission européenne

(7ème PCRD)



SIWA (Siberian Inland Waters) Climate impact on carbon emission and its export from Siberian Inland Waters

Oleg Pokrovsky


Joint Programming Initiative JPI CLIMATE



Carbon, Water and Metal Transport in Wetlands of Siberia: Key for understanding the future climate and environmental health of boreal zone

Jérôme Viers




Programme GDRI


(terminé le 31/12/2013)


Oleg Pokrovsky




Programme LIA

MERCURY Isotopes


Exploring the isotopic dimension of the global mercury cycle

Jeroen Sonke


Commission européenne

(7ème PCRD)





PROfiling METHane Emission in the Baltic Sea: Cryptophane as in-sitU chemical Sensor

Valérie Chavagnac


Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)





 Ice cover of lakes and internal seas in Eurasia

Alexei Kouraev



Programme TOSCA 'Terre, Océan, Surfaces continentales, Atmosphère'



Baikal and Ladoga Lakes - Integrated Cooperation Activities

Alexei Kouraev




Programme PICS

SWOT Marécages


 Surface Water Ocean Topography  - Application for hydrological studies of wetlands in Western Siberia

Elena Zakharova



Programme TOSCA 'Terre, Océan, Surfaces continentales, Atmosphère'

SICKAyS Sea Ice Changes Knowledge using AltimetrY Satellites

Sara Fleury



Programme TOSCA 'Terre, Océan, Surfaces continentales, Atmosphère'



Man-Environment Interactions in the Arctic Regions

Elena Zakharova


Université fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées


Programme Transversalité 2013

Courses of studies

The sites indicated in yellow represents the area of interest of InHERA project (Interaction of Human - Environment in the Region of Arctic) funded by IDEX Transversality program, UPS


Pan-Arctic  Ocean

Heimbürger, L.E., Sonke, J.E., Cossa, D., Point, D., Lagane, C., Laffont, L., Galfond, D., Nicolaus, M., Rabe, B., Rutgers van der Loeff, M., (2015) Shallow methylmercury production in the marginal sea ice zone of the central Arctic Ocean. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep10318.

Zakharova EA, Fleury S., Guerreiro K., Willmes S., Rémy R., Kouraev A., Heinemann G., Sea ice leads detection using SARAL/AltiKa altimeter. Marine Geodesy, Special issue on SARAL/AltiKa 2014, in press.

Sonke, J.E. and Heimburger L-E. (2012) News and Views: Mercury in Flux. Nature Geoscience. V.5, p.447

Point, D., Sonke, J.E, Day, R.D., Rosenau, D.G., Hobson, K.A., Vanderpol, S.S., Moors, A.J., Pugh, R.S., Donard, O. F. X., and Becker, P. B., (2011). Methylmercury photodegradation influenced by sea ice cover in Arctic marine ecosystems. Nature Geoscience, v4, p188-194.

Chevallier, M., Salas y Mélia, D., Voldoire, A., Déqué, M. and Garric, G., 2013. Seasonal forecast of the pan-Arctic sea ice extent using a GCM-based seasonal prediction system. Journal of Climate, 26, 6092-6104, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00612.1.

Germe, A., Chevallier, M., Salas y Mélia, D., Sanchez-Gomez, E. and Cassou, C., 2013. Interannual predictability of Arctic sea ice in a global climate model : Regional disparity and temporal evolution. Climate Dynamics, 43(9-10), 2519-2538, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2071-2.

Roy, F., Chevallier, M., Smith, G., Dupont, F., Garric, G., Lemieux, J.-L., 2014. Arctic sea ice and freshwater sensitivity to the treatment of the atmosphere-ice-ocean surface layer. Journal of Geophysical Research, accepted.

 Pan-Arctic Terrestrail

Pokrovsky, O.S., Viers, J., Dupré, B., Chabaux, F., Gaillardet, J., Audry, S., Prokushkin, A.S., Shirokova, L.S., Kirpotin, S.N., Lapitsky, S.A., Shevchenko, V.P. (2012) Biogeochemistry of carbon, major and trace elements in watersheds of northern Eurasia drained to the Arctic Ocean: The change of fluxes, sources and mechanisms under the climate warming prospective. C. R. Geosci., 344, 663–677.

Pokrovsky, O. S. , Shirokova, L. S., Zabelina, S. A., Vorobieva, T. Ya., Moreva, O. Yu., Klimov, S. I., Chupakov, A. V., Shorina, N. V., Kokryatskaya, N. M., Audry, S., Viers, J., Zoutien, C., Freydier, R. (2012) Size fractionation of trace elements in a seasonally stratified boreal lake: Control of organic matter and iron colloids. Aquat. Geochem. 18, 115-139.

Choulga M., E Kourzeneva, E Zakharova, Doganovsky A., Estimation of the mean depth of boreal lakes for use in numerical weather prediction and climate modelling, Tellus A, 2014, V66.

Loisel, J., Yu, Z., Beilman, D.W., Camill, P., Alm, J., Amesbury, M.J., Anderson, D., Andersson, S., Bochicchio, C., Barber, K., Belyea, L.R., Bunbury, J., Chambers, F.M., Charman, D.J., De Vleeschouwer, F., Fiałkiewicz-Kozieł, B., Finkelstein, S.A., Gałka, M., Garneau, M., Hammarlund, D., Hinchcliffe, W., Holmquist, J., Hughes, P., Jones, M.C., Klein, E.S., Kokfelt, U., Korhola, A., Kuhry, P., Lamarre, A., Lamentowicz, M., Large, D., Lavoie, M., MacDonald, G., Magnan, G., Mäkilä, M., Mallon, G., Mathijssen, P., Mauquoy, D., McCarroll, J., Moore, T.R., Nichols, J., O'Reilly, B., Oksanen, P., Packalen, M., Peteet, D., Richard, P.J.H., Robinson, S., Ronkainen, T., Rundgren, M., Sannel, A.B.K., Tarnocai, C., Thom, T., Tuittila, E.-S., Turetsky, M., Väliranta, M., van der Linden, M., van Geel, B., van Bellen, S., Vitt, D., Zhao, Y., Zhou, W. 2014. A database and synthesis of northern peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon and nitrogen accumulation. The Holocene, 24, doi: 10.1177/0959683614538073.

Charman, D., Beilman, D., Blaauw, M., Booth, R.K., Brewer, S., Chambers, F., Christen, J.A., Gallego-Sala, A.V., Harrison, S.P., Hughes, P.D.M., Jackson, S., Korhola, A., Mauquoy, D., Mitchell, F., Prentice, I.C., van der Linden, M., De Vleeschouwer, F., Yu, Z., Alm, J., Bauer, I.E.,McCorish, Y., Garneau, M., Hohl, V., Huang, Y., Karofeld, E., Le Roux, G., Loisel, J., Moschen, R., Nichols, J.E., Nieminen, T.M., MacDonald, G.M., Phadtare, N.R., Rausch, N., Sillasoo, Ü., Swindles, G.T., Tuittila, E.-S., Ukonmaanaho, L., Väliranta, M., van Bellen, S., van Geel, B., Vitt, D., Zhao, Y. 2013. Climate-related changes in peatland carbon accumulation during the last millennium. Biogeosciences, 10: 929-944.

 Grinnell et Tera Nivae

Papasodoro, C., Berthier, E., Royer, A., Zdanowicz, C. and Langlois, A.: Area, elevation and mass changes of the two southernmost ice caps of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago between 1952 and 2014, The Cryosphere Discuss., 9(2), 1667–1704, doi:10.5194/tcd-9-1667-2015, 2015.


Adalgeirsdóttir, G., Gudmundsson, S., Björnsson, H., Pálsson, F., Jóhannesson, T., Hannesdóttir, H., Sigurdsson, S. Þ. and Berthier, E.: Modelling the 20th and 21st century evolution of Hoffellsjökull glacier, SE-Vatnajökull, Iceland, The Cryosphere, 5(4), 961–975, doi:10.5194/tc-5-961-2011, 2011.

Berthier, E., Björnsson, H., Palsson, F., Feigl, K. L., Llubes, M. and Remy, F.: The level of the Grimsvotn subglacial lake, Vatnajokull, Iceland, monitored with SPOT5 images, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 243(1-2), 293–302, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2005.12.027, 2006.

Berthier, E., Vincent, C., Magnússon, E., Gunnlaugsson, Á. Þ., Pitte, P., Le Meur, E., Masiokas, M., Ruiz, L., Pálsson, F., Belart, J. M. C. and Wagnon, P.: Glacier topography and elevation changes derived from Pléiades sub-meter stereo images, The Cryosphere, 8(6), 2275–2291, doi:10.5194/tc-8-2275-2014, 2014.

Björnsson, H., Pálsson, F., Guðmundsson, S., Magnússon, E., Aðalgeirsdóttir, G., Jóhannesson, T., Berthier, E., Sigurðsson, O. and Thorsteinsson, T.: Contribution of Icelandic ice caps to sea level rise: trends and variability since the Little Ice Age, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1–5, doi:10.1002/grl.50278, 2013.

Gudmundsson, S., Björnsson, H., Magnússon, E., Berthier, E., Pálsson, F., Gudmundsson, M. T., Högnadóttir, T. and Dall, J.: Response of Eyjafjallajökull, Torfajökull and Tindfjallajökull ice caps in Iceland to regional warming, deduced by remote sensing, Polar Research, 30(7282), doi:10.3402/polar.v30i0.7282, 2011.

Jóhannesson, T., Björnsson, H., Magnússon, E., Guðmundsson, S., Pálsson, F., Sigurðsson, O., Thorsteinsson, T. and Berthier, E.: Ice-volume changes, bias estimation of mass-balance measurements and changes in subglacial lakes derived by lidar mapping of the surface of Icelandic glaciers, Annals of Glaciology, 54(63), 63–74, doi:10.3189/2013AoG63A422, 2013.

Pálsson, F., Gudmundsson, S., Bjornsson, H., Berthier, E., Magnusson, E., Gudmundsson, S. and Haraldsson, H.: Mass and volume changes of Langjökull ice cap, Iceland, ~1890 to 2009, deduced from old maps, satellite images and in situ mass balance measurements, Jökull, 62, 81–96, 2012.


Librado P., C. Der Sarkissian, L. Ermini, M. Schubert, H. Jónsson, A. Albrechtsen, M. Fumagalli, M. A. Yang, C. Gamba, A. Seguin-Orlando, C. D. Mortensen, B. Petersen, C. A. Hoover, B. Lorente-Galdos, A. Nedoluzhko, E. Boulygina, S. Tsygankova, M. Neuditschko, V. Jagannathan, C. Thèves, A. H. Alfarhan, S. A. Alquraishi, K. A. S. Al-Rasheid, T. Sicheritz-Ponten, R. Popov, S. Grigoriev, A. N. Alekseev, E. M. Rubin, M. McCue, S. Rieder, T. Leeb, A. Tikhonov, E. Crubézy, M. Slatkin, T. Marques-Bonet, R. Nielsen, E. Willerslev, J. Kantanen, E. Prokhortchouk et L. Orlando. Tracking the origins of Yakutian horses and the genetic basis for their fast adaptation to subarctic environments. PNAS, November, 2015, doi:10.1073/pnas.1513696112

Keyser C, Hollard C, Gonzalez A, Fausser JL, Rivals E, Alexeev AN, Riberon A, Crubézy E, Ludes B. The Ancient Yakuts: A Population Genetic Enigma. Philosophical Transactions B. (in press).

Dabernat H, Thèves C, Bouakaze C, Nikolaeva D, Keyser C, Mokrousov I, Geraut A, Duchesne S, Gerard P, Alexeev AN, Crubézy E, Ludes B; 2014; Tuberculosis Epidemiology and Selection in an Autochthonous Siberian Population from the 16(th)-19(th) Century; PloS one 9(2):e89877.

Thèves C, Biagini P, Crubezy E; 2014; The rediscovery of smallpox. Clinical microbiology and infection; 20(3):210-218.

Dabernat H, Reis T.M., Tarasov A.Y., Artyukhov I.P., Nikolaev V.G., Medvedeva N.N., Gavrilyuk O.A., Nikolaev M.V., and Crubézy E ; 2013 ; Paleopathology of the population of Krasnoyarsk, central Siberia (Pokrovskiy and Voskresensko-Preobrazhenskiy cemeteries of the 17th– Early 20th Centuries), Archaeology Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia 41/3 (2013) pp.140–150.

 Keyser C, Ludes B, Crubezy E; 2013; Yakoutia : A Jewel for the study of Ancient DNA. Biofutur; 349: 31.

Thèves C, Keyser C, Ludes B, Crubezy E; 2013; Why study ancient pathogenic microbes ? Biofutur; 349: 44.

Biagini P, Thèves C, Balaresque P, Geraut A, Cannet C, Keyser C, Nikolaeva D, Gerard P, Duchesne S, Orlando L, Willerslev E, Alekseev AN, de Micco P, Ludes B, Crubézy E; 2012; Variola virus in a 300-year-old Siberian mummy. The New England journal of medicine; 367(21):2057-2059.

Thèves C, Senescau A, Vanin S, Keyser C, Ricaut FX, Anatoly NA, Dabernat H, Ludes B, Fabre R, Crubézy E; 2011; Molecular identification of bacteria by total sequence screening: determining the cause of death in ancient human samples. PLoS One; 6(7): e21733. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021733.


Magnaval JF, Leparc-Goffard I, Gibert M, Gurieva A, Outreville J, Dyachkovskaya P, Fabre R, Fedorova S, Nikolaeva D, Melnitchuk O, Daviaud-Fabre P, Alekseev A, Crubezy E ; 2014 ; Zoonoses in the Verkhoyansk area, Sakha Republic, Russian Federation. American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. (in press).


 Magnaval Jf, Tolou H, Gibert M, Innokentiev V, Laborde M, Melnichuk O, Grandadam M, Crubézy E and Alekseev A; 2011; Seroepidemiology of 9 zoonoses in Viljujsk, Republic of Sakha (Northeastern Siberia). Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases; 11(2): 157-60.


Shirokova, L.S., Pokrovsky, O.S., Kirpotin, S.N., Desmukh, C., Pokrovsky, B.G., Audry, S., Viers, J. (2013). Biogeochemistry of organic carbon, CO2, CH4, and trace elements in thermokarst water bodies in discontinuous permafrost zones of Western Siberia. Biogeochemistry 113, 573-593.

Audry., S., Pokrovsky, O. S., Shirokova, L. S., Kirpotin, S. N., Dupré, B. (2011) Organic matter mineralization and trace element post-depositional redistribution in Western Siberia thermokarst lake sediments. Biogeosciences, 8, 3341–3358.

Pokrovsky, O. S., Shirokova, L. S., Kirpotin, S. N., Audry, S., Viers, J., and Dupré, B. (2011) Effect of permafrost thawing on organic carbon and trace element colloidal speciation in the thermokarst lakes of western Siberia, Biogeosciences, 8, 565-583, doi:10.5194/bg-8-565-2011.

Zakharova EA., AV Kouraev, F Rémy, VA Zemtsov, Kirpotin S.N., Seasonal variability of the Western Siberia wetlands from satellite radar altimetry, Journal of Hydrology, 2014, 512, 366-378

Zakharova E.A., A.V. Kouraev, S. Biancamaria, M.V. Kolmakova, N.M. Mognard, V.A. Zemtsov, S.N. Kirpotin, B.Decharme. “Snow cover and spring flood flow in the northern part of the Western Siberia (the Poluy, Nadym, Pur and Taz rivers)”. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 2011, vol.12, No 6.

Kirpotin S., Polyschuk Y., Bryksina N., Sugaipova A., Kouraev A., Zakharova E., Pokrovsky O., Shirokova L., Kolmakova M., Manassypov N., Dupré B. West Siberian palsa peatlands : distribution, typology, cyclic development, present-day climate-driven changes, seasonal hydrology and impact on CO2 cycle. International Journal of Environmental Studies (Taylor and Francis Ltd.), 2011, vol. 68, no 5, pp. 447-463 .

Zakharova E.A., Kouraev A.V., Kolmakova M.V., Mognard N.M., Zemtsov V.A., Kirpotin S.N. “The modern hydrological regime of North-Western Siberia from in situ and satellite observations”. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 2009, vol. 66, no 4, pp. 447-463

Kirpotin S, Berezin A., Bazanov V., Polishchuk Yu., Vorobiov S., Mironycheva-Tokoreva N., Kosykh N. Volkova I., Dupre B., Pokrovsky O., Kouraev A.V., Zakharova E., Shirokova L., Mognard N., Biancamaria S., Viers J., Kolmakova M. “Western Siberia wetlands as indicator and regulator of climate change on the global scale”. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 2009, vol. 66 no 4,  pp. 409-421.

Norwegian & Barents Seas

Laffineur, T., C. Claud, J.-P. Chaboureau, and G. Noer, 2014: Polar lows over the Nordic Seas: Improved representation in ERA-Interim compared to ERA-40 and the impact on downscaled simulations, Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 2271–2289.

Grémillet D., Fort J., Amélineau F., Zakharova E., Le Bot T., Sala E. and Gavrilo M., Arctic warming: non-linear impacts of sea-ice and glacier melt on seabird foraging. Global Change Biology, 2014, in press.

Lien, V.S., Hjollo, S.S., Skogen, M.D., Svendsen, E., Wehde, H., Bertino, L., Counillon, F., Chevallier, M., Garric, G., 2015. An assessement of the added value from data assimilation on modeled Nordic Seas hydrography and ocean transports, Ocean Modelling, submitted.


 Kouraev A.V., Zakharova E.A., Rémy F., Suknev A.Ya. Study of Lake Baikal ice cover from radar altimetry and in situ observations. Marine Geodesy, Special issue on SARAL/AltiKa, 2014 in press.

Yi, Yuchan, Alexei V. Kouraev, C. K. Shum, Valery S. Vuglinsky, Jean­Francois Crétaux, and Stéphane Calmant. "The Performance of Altimeter Waveform Retrackers at Lake Baikal", Terrestrial Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. doi: 10.3319/TAO.2012.10.09.01(TibXS).

Kouraev A.V., M.N.Shimaraev, P.I. Buharizin, M.A.Naumenko, J­F Crétaux, N.M. Mognard, B. Legrésy, F. Rémy. Ice and snow cover of continental water bodies from simultaneous radar altimetry and radiometry observations. Survey in Geophysics ­ Thematic issue "Hydrology from space" 2008 DOI 10.1007/s10712­008­9042­2.

Perrot, V.,Epov, V.N., Pastukhov, M.V., Grebenshchikov, V.I., Zouiten, C., Sonke, J.E., Donard, O.F.X., Amouroux, D. (2010) Tracing sources and bioaccumulation of Hg in food webs of Lake Baikal – Angara River using Hg isotopic signatures. Environmental Science and Technology, v44, p.8030-8037

Baltic Sea

 Chavagnac V., Boulart C., Dutasta J.P., Prien R.D., Seat H.-S., 2015. Monitoring marine methane. International Innovation: Disseminating science, research and technology, 172: 126-128.

Boulart C., Prien R., Chavagnac V., Dutasta J.-P., 2013. Sensing dissolved methane in aquatic environments : an experiment in the Central Baltic Sea using surface plasmon resonance. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(15) : 8582-8590, doi : 10.1021/es.4011916.

 Hudson Bay

 Carignan, J., Sonke, J.E. (2010) The Effect of Atmospheric Mercury Depletion Events on the net Deposition Flux Around Hudson Bay, Canada. Atmospheric Environment, v.44, p.4372-4379

Gulf of Alaska

Masbou, J., Point, P., Sonke, J. E. & Becker, P. R. (2015) Mercury stable isotope fractionation time trends in cryogenically archived ringed seal livers from the Alaskan Arctic. Environmental Science & Technology, in press

  • MAFSO Campaign 2016 by E.Crubézy and P.Gerard  AMIS, Toulouse                        

The MAFSO campaign (Mission Archéologique Française en Sibérie Oreintale) took place in Central Yakutia during August 2016. It was one of the richest in the past decade in the three topics covered by this mission: the world of the dead and funeral practices, the reconstitution of the living world and finally the evolution and the settlement. The 2016 issue was initiated: (i) by a series of scientific data resulting from archaeological, historical and genetic synthesis, now subject, which have altered our vision of the Yakut of the approach; (Ii) the production of a documentary movie for the general public as the last dated from 2007 and the issue had evolved beyond the scope of remote and spectacular tombs (subject of the 2007 film); (Iii) the drastic reduction of our credit that forced us to move to areas difficult to access and therefore require the use of adapted vehicles: boats and air travel within Yakutia.

AMIS_MAFSO2016.pdf 776.64 kB
  • Joint 2016 French-Russian field trip in the Central Yakutia (by E. Zakharova, LEGOS)

In August 2016 joint French-Russian field trip has been effectuated in the Central Yakutia (fig.1). The field trip was funded by UPS IDEX Transversalité "InHERA" project. The main goal of the expedition was to collect the ground truth data, which are vital for generation of high-resolution maps of biophysical parameters from satellite measurements.


Figure 1. Measurement of vegetation and soil parameters in the larix forest and in the alas.


The Central Yakutia is considered to be among the regions that are the most vulnerable to the climate warming. The warm permafrost (with the temperature near 0°C) with high content of ground ice cores is widely developed on the Lena River terraces (fig.2a). As the ground ice melts, it leads to soil subsidence and formation of thermokarst lakes (fig.2b).

Figure 2. Ground ice melt (a) and alas with lake surrounded by  meadow belt (b).


With time, meadow vegetation develops around the lakes, forming the unique ecological complexes, called "Alas" by  the Yakutian people. In the severe climatic and environmental conditions of Siberia, the settlements appeared mostly along the rivers. In the Central Yakutia, thank to alasses the people can live also on intefluvial areas. Alas lakes provide people with water and meadows allow to develop the settled life-style based on horse and cattle breeding. The modern climate change affects the water regime of lakes and productivity of the meadows. Together with the colleagues from the Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone (IBPC) in Yakutsk,  we study the alas ecosystems in the climate and social context.


Thanks to results of the joint LEGOS-IBPC 2016 trip, the maps of alas lakes and meadow ecosystems are already produced and now available for analysis (fig.3).




Figure 3. Map of alas lakes (blue) and meadows (green) around a settlement (red circle) in the Central Yakutia.



The mysterious origin of the Iakoute horse finally elucidated

The horses of the Iakoutes, a north-east Siberian horse breeding people, have been an enigma for scientists up to now. The origin of this extremely robust breed, able to survive in temperatures around -70°C, had not yet been able to be determined. Thanks to work published recently in the journal PNAS by an international team

Submission of CHARCOT and HYPER-ARC projects to the 2015 call by the National Arctic project

We wish good luck to the projects CHARCOT "Climate change in the Eastern Arctic and adaptive dynamics of Siberian communities" and HYPER-ARC "Impact of climate change upon Arctic hydrological systems associated to permafrost thawing (Siberia and Spitsbergen)" submitted last 31 March in response to the 2015 call by the National Arctic project. The Toulouse forces who are committed are the LEGOS, the CNRM-GAME, AMIS and the CPTP (for CHARCOT) and the GET, the LEGOS, ECOLAB, the LA and the CNRM-GAME for HYPER-ARC

 WorkshopFirst Lower Yenisei Observation Network (LYON July 2015) directed by Arnaud Mansat

- May 2016  Workhop InHERA 


The 2nd International Workshop on Man- Environment Interaction in the  Arctic Regions held in Toulouse, France, 17-18 May 2016. The workshop was a part of the  two-years collaborative project funded by Transdisciplinary IDEX program InHERA of the Toulouse University. The  project gathers together 8 laboratories working in the field of natural and human sciences.

The purpose of the workshop was to bring together scientists working in environmental, anthropological and social domains. The 20 workshop  participants  from France, Russia and Germany represented over 11 laboratories, institutions and universities.

The workshop lasted 2 days. During the first day participants presented  their current research activities in the Siberian Arctic and Yakutia (Sakha). The second day was devoted to animated interactive discussion on synergy of our expertise for joint studies, funding opportunities and  sources, and future short- and long-term actions.

- Febuary 2016

What are the health risks for people dwelling, sporting, or working in the Arctic area of the Sakha Republic ?


New results from recently published research.

In 2012, a seroprevalence survey concerning 10 zoonoses, which were bacterial (Lyme borreliosis and Q fever), parasitic (alveolar echinococcosis [AE] and cystic echinococcosis [CE], cysticercosis, toxoplasmosis, toxocariasis, and trichinellosis), or arboviral (tick-borne encephalitis and West Nile virus infection), was conducted among 77 adult volunteers inhabiting Suordakh and Tomtor Arctic villages in the Verkhoyansk area (Yakutia). Following serological testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and/or western blot, no positive result was found for cysticercosis, CE, toxocariasis, trichinellosis, and both arboviral zoonoses. Four subjects (5.2%) had anti-Toxoplasma IgG, without the presence of specific IgM. More importantly, eight subjects (10.4%) tested positive for Lyme borreliosis, two (2.6%) for recently acquired Q fever, and one (1.3%) for AE.

Bibliographic reference

Lyme infection and Q fever, whose presence had not been reported so far in Arctic Yakutia, appeared therefore to be a major health threat for people dwelling, sporting, or working in the Arctic area of the Sakha Republic.

Magnaval JF, Leparc-Goffart I, Gibert M, Gurieva A, Outreville J, Dyachkovskaya P, Fabre R, Fedorova S, Nikolaeva D, Dubois D, Melnitchuk O, Daviaud-Fabre P, Marty M, Alekseev A, Crubezy E.
A Serological Survey About Zoonoses in the Verkhoyansk Area, Northeastern Siberia (Sakha Republic, Russian Federation). Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2016 Feb;16(2):103-9. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2015.1828. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

- December 2015

The mysterious origin of the Yakut horse finally elucidated

Les chevaux des iakoutes, un peuple d’éleveurs du nord-est sibérien, étaient jusqu’ici une énigme pour les scientifiques. L’origine de cette race extrêmement robuste, capable de survivre par des températures avoisinant les -70°C, n’avait pas encore pu être déterminée. Grâce aux travaux publiés récemment dans le journal PNASpar une équipe internationale

-July 2015

  • First Lower Yenisei Observation Network(LYON) Workshop aboard the passenger cruise vessel “Alexandr Matrosov”. ECOLAB co-organise un workshop sur le Ienisei avec le Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Igarka, Russie). L’objectif est de fédérer la communauté internationale travaillant sur les problématiques environnementales du fleuve Ienisei, plus grand fleuve arctique. Participeront également : LEGOS, CESBIO, GET et LA. Contact : Roman Teisserenc (ECOLAB) LYON 1st Circular.pdf 187,15 kB

- May 2015

  • Séminaire d'Edward Blanchard- Wrigglesworth(Université de Washington, Seattle, USA) intitulé "Model skill and sensitivity to initial conditions in a sea-ice prediction system" - mardi 5 mai, salle Joël Noilhan, CNRM,
  • Exposition de photographies « Vodavos/Водово з , porteur d’eau en Sibérie »au centre de Documentation de l'Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées : un récit en images d'une expérience de terrain au nord du cercle polaire… e n présence des auteurs des photographies au centre de documentation de l'observatoire Midi Pyrénées .  Auteurs des photographies : Arnaud Mansat, Roman Teisserenc (EcoLab) et Théo Le dantec (EcoLab)
  • Café des sciences OMP: "Glaces des lacs et des Mers intérieures en Eurasie"- Alexei Kouraev (LEGOS), Les Délices de Saturnin, Toulouse

-April 2015 :

- Mars 2015:

  •  Séminaire d'échange et de réflexion prospective dans le cadre du projet Interactions Homme-Environnement dans les Régions Arctiques (InHERA)
  • Soumission des projets CHARCOT et HYPER-ARCà l'appel 2015 du Chantier national Arctique

    Souhaitons bonne chance aux projets CHARCOT "Climate change in the Eastern Arctic and adaptive dynamics of Siberian communities" et HYPER-ARC "Impact of climate change upon Arctic hydrological systems associated to permafrost thawing (Siberia and Spitsbergen)" soumis le 31 mars dernier à l'appel 2015 du chantier national Arctique.

    Les forces toulousaines qui s'y engagent sont le LEGOS, le CNRM-GAME, AMIS et le CPTP (pour CHARCOT) et le GET, le LEGOS, ECOLAB, le LA, le CNRM-GAME pour HYPER-ARC. Fingers crossed !

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Elena Zakharova (, 05 61 33 27 96)


Alexei Kouraev (, 05 61 33 29 37)

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