The Russians have a program for placing observing stations on stable ice floes, but the number of stable ones is tending to zero and preparations are being made for evacuation much earlier in the melt season than anticipated. This is a direct consequence of the thinning of the ice
“A collapse of the station’s ice floe poses a threat to its continued work, the lives of the crew, the environment close to the Canadian Economic Zone and to equipment and supplies”, a note from the minister reads. . .
With ice levels in the Arctic reaching record lows, finding a suitable floe for the station proved to be a difficult task last autumn. The icebreaker carrying the station’s crew had to sail all around the North Pole before finding an ice floe solid enough to hold the station. None of the three floes that had been pre-evaluated from land as possible objects were considered safe enough.
Also the previous shift of Russian scientists experienced problems with the ice situation in the Arctic. In late April the members of North Pole-39 had to move the whole research station to another ice floe because the first one was breaking up.