December 31st, 2011 • 2:40 PM
Vernadsky on Arctic Ice

by Meghan Rouillard

“The profound scientific study of the Arctic which has been carried on during the recent years with ever growing intensity in our country, should attract particular attention and thought on the part of all those of us for whom scientific interests are precious.”-V.I. Vernadsky, 1938

In light of the recent publication of “Self-Developing Systems and Arctic Development”, it is interesting to note that Vladimir Vernadsky, a Russian-Ukrainian biogeochemist who lived until 1945, had his own thoughts about the scientific breakthroughs to be made there.

We recently came across a piece by Vernadsky, translated into English, called “On some current problems in the study of the ice of the Arctic regions.” Vernadsky hits on several areas of investigation to be pursued in the Arctic, all of which are still very relevant.

The first is something referred to in the recent Basement webcast in response to a question from Argentina, on the differences between the Arctic and Antarctic. Vernadsky says that, “it should be taken into consideration that the ice of the Antarctic is mineralogically not identical with that of the Arctic.”

Vernadsky has elsewhere argued and that the earth’s waters themselves be classified as minerals. Here, he states: “..the waters of the earth are the largest group of minerals. In 1933, I succeeded in establishing for the Earth waters 485 species, referring to 129 families, classes in turn among 39 subkingdoms which are grouped in 19 kingdoms. A further study of these phenomena enables me to state that now (1938) 553 species or Earth waters may be distinguished, referring to 145 families, united in turn in 43 subkingdoms.” The Arctic waters, he says, “may reveal new mineral species of Earth water...the mineralogy of the Arctic waters should be established and compared with the mineralogy of the Antarctic waters.” This concept of natural waters as minerals is not given much attention in modern science, aside from the work of S.L. Shvartsev who has continued Vernadsky's work in this area explicitly in his work on rock-water interactions and new geochemical types of water which can be classified from such an approach.

Of course, part of man engaging in such a study in the Arctic will itself result in the creation of new species of water, which Vernadsky has referred to as “cultural waters,” changed by the activity of man. From Vernadsky’s “History of Natural Waters:”

“Virgin rivers are quickly disappearing or have disappeared and have been replaced by new types of formations, by new waters, not existing earlier. In the great territory of Eurasia, and in the recent century in American and Australia—in the whole biosphere a revolution of natural waters is occurring and simultaneously the creation of new cultural rivers, lakes, reservoirs, seashore marine formations, and of soil solutions.”

“This process goes deep, changing the behavior of brine waters (stratal waters) of the biosphere and stratisphere. The change of vadose waters—of phreatic waters-- occurs in a thousand years—after the change in drilling and ore mining of stratal, naiornic waters began. Now it is seen deeper than two kilometers from the earth's surface in some places.”

Next, Vernadsky acknowledges an important biogeochemical study which can be done in the Arctic waters. He hypothesizes that the marine phytoplankton, the diatom, whose fascinating activity has been discussed in a couple of basement videos, could possibly be contributing significantly to the melting of Arctic ice. The diatom depends on silicon for its metabolism, and Vernadsky hypothesized here and later showed, in 1940, that diatoms could be splitting kaolin nuclei to obtain silicon: “This kaolin complex... is endothermal, and when it is disintegrated heat is evolved. From this an idea can be made of how enormous should be the amount of heat evolved--and used by diatomeae--during such a disintegration of kaolin nuclei."

He proposes that “study and quantitative evaluation be made of the <<eating away>> of the icebergs and ice fields by diatomeae, which process seems to be extensive in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and the Siberian Coast.” While more work on the diatom metabolism has been done since Vernadsky’s time, and there are still questions about understanding the silicon metabolism in particular, it does not appear from an initial search that any such systemic study or their possible role in melting Arctic ice has been done. What a nice irony it would be if these little, sometimes green, phytoplankton were in fact contributing significantly to the melting of the Arctic Ice, which the “greenies” today claim is done mainly by (the oligarchy’s creation) “anthropogenic climate change.” Diatoms have otherwise aided, though not as an act of will, in human economic activity with the vast diatomaceous earth deposits they leave for us to mine, so what’s to say they aren’t currently aiding in clearing our Arctic sea routes? Needless to say, a study of the role of these microorganisms, which appear in great concentration at the pole, should be done.

Algae bloom in Polar Ice

Lastly, Vernadsky returns to a point which is the opening lunge of his "Biosphere", that the biosphere cannot be separated or understood outside of the “cosmic medium.” At a recent even I attended in D.C. on the Coast Guard in the Arctic, a panelist representing the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs said that their current and main focus on the relationship between the Arctic, extraterrestrial processes, and life on Earth was mainly centered on the effects of ultra-violet radiation, given the new and unexplained ozone hole which opened up above the North Pole. We should keep an open mind as to how important and how varied the role of the Arctic as our “window to space” could be. This includes the influx of cosmic radiation, but is not limited to that, as has been elaborated in LPAC’s recent report on Arctic policy and our Extraterrestrial Imperative. Vernadsky concurs:

“A systemic study of Arctic Ice...may reveal a terrestrial and cosmic phenomenon of such a scale and significance which now cannot be even suspected.”

Download Vernadsky’s short paper here. Here's to doing what we must do now, politically, to be able to pursue some of these challenges in 2012 as part of a global intention to develop of the Arctic!

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The Basement Project began in 2006 as a core team of individuals tasked with the study of Kepler's New Astronomy, laying the scientific foundations for an expanded study of the LaRouche-Riemann Science of Physical Economics. Now, that team has expanded both in number, and in areas of research, probing various elements and aspects of the Science of Physical Economy, and delivering in depth reports, videos, and writings for the shaping of economic policy.