Story of one table
Honorary President of the our Geographical Society Academician Vladimir Mikhailovich Kotlyakov told the "my planet" than in our time, when all the seas and continents are open for a long time, geographers are engaged and what the most important recent discoveries have a table in his office director of the Institute of the our Academy of Sciences.
Oceanic underwater ridges
With the advent of satellite observation, the possibility of detecting new geographic objects, at least on the surface of the Earth, has been exhausted. Nevertheless, the discovery, of course, continues. There is a thickness of the ocean, and there – the mass of objects. Already in my memory, in the second half of the twentieth century, underwater median ridges were opened, which advanced the theory of continental and oceanic plates and their movements, since the ridges just arise in the places of compression of these plates. Mountain structures that appeared in this way indicate the most seismic and volcanically dangerous zones.
The source of Amazon
And in one opening I took indirect participation. A very famous Polish traveler Yartsek Palkevich came to me and, sitting at the table, for which we now sit with you, told that he was going to South America, in the upper husband of Amazon, and looking for a comrade. I led to him by my employee, and they went to the expedition, during which the estate of Amazon was found before unknown. Identification of the source – of course, the case is very conditional, so it takes the longest of a series of streams that flow further into the river, but nevertheless. It was in 1996.
Antarctic Foot Lake East
In 1966 I wrote a popular book that I called "We live in the Ice Age?". For some reason, she was sold in newspaper stalls, and it was divided within two weeks. I think the question mark in the title is not even very appropriate, because 10% sushi is covered with ice. From six mainland one – Antarctica, of course, – completely under the ice. But what exactly is under this ice, we did not know.
Very serious and large-scale studies began only after the international geographical year (1957-1958). On them all over the world have huge resources, but the main players in this field were, of course, the United States and the USSR. Studies gave a lot of results that could not be assumed. And one of these achievements originated right here at the Institute of Geography, behind this table.
I had a kind familiar and colleague, unfortunately, not so long ago, the physicist Igor Alekseevich Zotikov. He was engaged in particular, the calculations of the thermophysics of cosmic descendants, but became interested in geography and came to me, and then I was the head of the department. He began to engage in the calculations of the thermophysics of glacial cover in Antarctica and found the following. Imagine ice cover – 4-kilometer thickness blanket. It is constantly at the top of it, and the bottom – heat. So, somewhere they are connected and give zero temperature. And the cryotics calculated that if the thickness of the ice is about 2 km, then it penetrates the sole itself, and if it is more powerful, then "wins" the warmth and ice begins to melt. He drew a card, first published in 1961 in our and in 1963 in English, where he outlined the region of melting under the ice. It was not a discovery yet, but "preservation", which then no one believed. But then they still began to explore and the radar method recorded such reflections that could not go from the solid surface. So indirectly managed to find treeal lakes. And further, already in the 70s, with connecting the capabilities of satellite observation on the surface of Antarctica, the contours of a huge flat plain – the lake, which were called the East, and we called it with this our word we are not, and foreigners, named our station "Vostok". It was great and probably the last of the major geographical discoveries of our time. Lake East – the fifth in size among all freshwater lakes of the world: 230 km long, 50 km wide and depth to 1600 m, and the average depth is 600 m, that is, about a third of Baikal.
After its discovery began "Race of Research". All wonder what it is and how it is arranged. The lake is isolated from the processes in the atmosphere for 13-15 million years (it is for sure that no one can yet establish, but these are modern scientific speculations). If there is suddenly there is life, then she, of course, is not at all like this, because the evolution has done a huge path during this time. Therefore, no higher forms can be there, but there may be bacteria, for example. We were tasked to devour before the water, enter the lake and get samples from there. That wanted not only we, but at first we were ahead, and foreigners carefully tried to slow down our actions. Objectively, they were right, indicating that the filling fluid for drilling, a mixture of kerosene with freon, can pollute the lake and ruptures all the results, and it will be a big damage for humanity. Therefore, an international resolution was adopted, indicating that before the development of cleaner equipment, ours should be stopped. We did it, but in the end all the same became the first, drilling all the ice to the water itself. It happened on February 5, 2012.
While only trial water samples are obtained, after a few months they got into St. Petersburg, and our scientists are trying to understand, there is life there or not. This is such a thin matter that it is impossible to understand by conventional biological methods. But there is biophysics, allowing to detect traces of life through chromosomes. And their, these traces of chromosomes really found. But the chromosomes of living organisms have been studied quite in detail, there are whole atlases and systems of chromosomes, therefore regularities are known. But when these finds began to compare with them, it turned out that there is nothing like that now on Earth. So in some sense it is unearthly (although, of course, not extraterrestrial). There are no soils for philistine fears to unknown bacteria, because this bacterium, if there is still still in such unique conditions (pressure, meals, and so on), that if it is to try to raise it, then on the way it will certainly die.
Snow Cave in the North Caucasus
At the time when the President of the Academy of Sciences was Academician Alexandrov, a messenger came from him with a proposal to organize an expedition to the Snow Cabeva in the North Caucasus, then just open. We organized this expedition, and one speleologist had passed so much that it still works with us. During the expedition, the entire cave, and it turned out to be completely huge, completely passed, investigated and described.
Even in Soviet times, I received a correspondent for Izvestia (and we also sat for this table with him) and asked if it was possible to calculate the central point of our country. They wanted to make a material about the geometric center, but did not very much understand how much our country is: the central point, if you consider only land, is somewhere in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and if we take into account the water, then at all behind the north polar circle. In itself, this, of course, no discovery, but simply an illustration for the thought that our country is so great that we still study and study it. But geography is now engaged in non-discovery, but how the world changes under the influence of two groups of factors: natural and anthropogenic. That is, geography is the only of fundamental sciences, which has two "wings", natural-scientific and socio-economic, and it is able to give holistic, general explanations and recommendations to which, unfortunately, the authorities are rarely listened to.
Take, for example, Olympics in Sochi. Completely transformed the valley of the Mzinty mountain river. It turned out beautifully, but when recently the flood, it was a disaster: destroyed so much that we have to invest billions to have time to recover for the Olympics, and what will happen – and did not know. Now the main thing is that nothing collapsed directly during games and no one died, and it costs huge money. The Ministry of Emergency Situations creates mobile groups that will separate in particularly dangerous places to respond instantly, and all this, of course, is incredibly expensive. And then, they will not stand there forever. Make the slopes – and where to dump rock? Dump in the river. While the river flows, more or less tolerant, water hole will find water. And if pouring rains or sharp melting – and flood? The horror of which destruction can be.
Or flooding in Krymsk – also in our part. We have a program on the space station, in accordance with which cosmonauts are watching all the troubles that occur on Earth, photograph and immediately send to us. When the flood began, we requested pictures and literally discovered the reason for the second day. That is, not the cause of the flood – she was completely natural and obvious (all talk about the descent of water absolutely nothing to do with reality), but the reason why it turned into such a catastrophe. The fact is that the roads are built there in such a way, when the water went, became damasters, they detained water, and then she overwhelmed and destroyed everything that is possible. This is the first, and the second is in the city of five bridges, but they are all very low, and as soon as the water rushed, the space under the bridges immediately hammered by mud. They became dams by creating thus huge clusters of water. I wrote a letter to Putin, and thanks to the help of Shoigu it came directly to the addressee, and I was invited to a meeting that Putin spent on this issue with all ministers. I gave me a word, and I could right on the map all explain and show. Bridges, for their time good, built on the bottom of the 50s of the last century and hopelessly outdated. It means you need to build other, modern. In the Alps, the roads pass anywhere, because they are all raised above the bottoms not 5 m, as we have, and already at 100 m, and so on all satellite sites. Of course, it is expensive, but what to do? Life is more expensive, and the farm is more expensive. "Yes," – said Putin. And that yes-yes, "he will not do it. But let’s see.
Vladimir Mikhailovich Kotlyakov was born in 1931, graduated from the Geographical Faculty of Moscow State University, since 1954, and to this day he has been working at the Institute of Geography of the our Academy of Sciences (formerly USSR Academy of Sciences), and since 1986 he heads him. Valid member of the our Academy of Sciences, a valid member of the Ecological Academy of Russia, the International Academy of Regional Development and Cooperation, Honorary President of the our Geographical Society, President of the Glyciological Association, Honorary Member of Academies and Geographical Societies of a number of countries, laureate of many state and foreign awards and premiums. Author 25 books and about thousands of scientific and popular science articles, editor of more than 80 books, almost all domestic glossy monographs over the past 50 years, editor-in-chief and member of the editorial board of a number of atlases. Kotlyakova’s name was assigned to two glaciers in Zail and Dzhungarian Alatau.