Global Warming Threatens Moscow’s Arctic Development Plans and the Lives of People There

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2017) Some Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin, apparently believe that global warming will work to Russia’s ultimate benefit by allowing for crops over a larger portion of its territory; but in the shorter term, global warming is undermining Moscow’s plans to develop the Far North and even threatening the lives […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cold weather hits Russian economy in May but recovery still on track” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s statistics agency released a slew of numbers for June and revised the May numbers. The bottom line is while the economy took a hit from the bad weather in May, the recovery is broadly on track and life is starting to look better for the man in the street after two years of grinding pain. Real disposable incomes and […]

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Bad Weather Blamed for Moscow’s Summer Sadness

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 6, 2017) An unusually cold summer is partially responsible for a spike in Muscovites calling in for psychological help, RT reported, citing the director of the Moscow Psychological Aid Service Nina Petrochenko. The service received a total of 3,870 queries in June 2017, a 14 percent increase compared to the same month in 2016. […]

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Rosatom: Climate’s new best friend; As Russia’s economic crisis continues to hit budgets, the country’s state nuclear corporation is going green to raise funds on the international level.

Russian Nuclear Power Plant

(opendemocracy.net – Vladimir Slivyak – June 21, 2017) Vladimir Slivyak is the co-chair of the Russian environmental NGO Ecodefense and has been taking part in UN climate change talks since 1995. The recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum was widely covered by the Russian media, partly because of the eye-catching debates in which president Vladimir Putin himself took part. In […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Says Still Likely to Back Paris Climate Deal Despite U.S. Withdrawal” – Reuters

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

“… #Russia has signed the Paris climate pact but is the biggest emitter of global greenhouse gases not to have yet ratified it. Russian officials have said they need more time to assess its potential impact on their economy and have spoken of drafting a strategy for low-carbon development, fuelling fears among green campaigners Moscow may not ratify the agreement. […]

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Putin warns against rushing to condemn Trump for U.S. withdrawal from climate deal

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

ST. PETERSBURG. June 2 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is too soon to condemn United States President Donald Trump for the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. “I would not judge President Trump now because it was President Obama who made the relevant decisions [to join the agreement]. Perhaps, the incumbent president believes they are not […]

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RUSSIALINK RT: “Moscow celebrates despite coldest Christmas night ‘in 120 years.'”

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

“Bitterly cold temperatures haven’t stopped worshipers from celebrating Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas. Christian believers across the globe joined in celebrations. Those who attended midnight liturgy at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior had to bundle up for the bitter cold as temperatures in the capital dropped to about -30C on Christmas night. In Moscow Region, temperatures dropped below -32C. …”

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Russia’s Largest Problem: Permafrost Lies beneath Two-Thirds of Its Territory and Two-Thirds of That Will Melt This Century

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 14, 2016) The Russian government says it will invest 80 billion US dollars in developing Russia’s Far North between now and 2030, money it does not yet have (profile.ru/economics/item/111568-5-trillionov). But the biggest barrier to achieving its goals may not be financial stringencies but the impact of global warming. According to Russian […]

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Russia: the tinderbox in the struggle for a safe climate

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

Russia is at the forefront of the global climate change struggle. We ignore it at our peril. (opendemocracy.net – Daniel Voskoboynik – September 20, 2016) Daniel Voskoboynik is a journalist and campaigner covering human rights, ecology and migration. The Russian region of Yamal rarely makes global headlines. Despite being larger than France, its remote location bordering the Arctic Circle holds […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s melting ice could release more threats to humanity” – AFP

Arctic Map

Anthrax, small pox and giant viruses – Russian scientists are warning of a host of threats that could be unleashed on the world as global warming melts the frozen far north …. A recent anthrax outbreak on the Yamal peninsula left a child dead, 23 people infected and the government scrambling … The most likely source of the epidemic was […]

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AUDIO & NEWSWATCH: “For Russian Farmers, Climate Change Is Nyet So Great.” – National Public Radio

Eurasia Map Showing Temperature Ranges

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says last month was the warmest January on record. That sets off alarm bells for climate scientists, but for the average person living in a northern climate, it might not sound so bad. * * * The problem … is that while warmer weather might open up more land in cold regions such as […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Winter heat wave, of a sort, envelops usually frigid Moscow”

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

AP covers unseasonably mild temperatures in Moscow. It’s usually the cold that’s bitter in Moscow in December, but this year it’s the humor that bites during an unusual warm spell. … temperatures climbed as high as 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) … a joke began circulating … This was nature’s compensation for Russians being unable to take vacations in […]

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We need to find the common ground between climate change and civil society

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

To combat Russia’s industrial polluters, public indifference and limits on NGO activity, we need to link climate change and civil society. Русский (opendemocracy.net – Gleb Paikachev – December 11, 2015) Gleb Paikachev is an activist with the Nature and Youth organisation, Murmansk. Murmansk, a region just shy of the Arctic Circle, has its share of both global and local ecological […]

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Arctic winter temperature rose 3 degrees since 1990

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Interfax – December 8, 2015) The average Arctic winter temperature has risen three degrees Celsius since 1990, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy told a seventh High-Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air coalition. The average ice cover in the Arctic sea has halved since 1980, he said. “Already this region is characterized by a three-degree […]

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COP21: Facing the challenges of climate change before it’s too late

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

With representatives of 195 nations currently taking part in climate change talks in Paris, or COP21, as the negotiations have been called, the issue of preventing global temperatures from rising by a key 2°C is on top of the agenda. What challenges face the international community and does Russia have a meaningful role to play in fighting global warming? (Russia […]

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COP21: a diary from Paris

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

oDR correspondent Angelina Davydova is in Paris attending the UN climate conference COP21, where she’s keeping her eye on the Russian side of things… (opendemocracy.net – November 30, 2015) 30 November: Putin speaks Today was the first day of the UN climate conference in Paris (#COP21) and it began with 130 heads of state and government addressing the conference. This […]

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Climate Change And The View From Moscow

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – Explainer – MOSCOW, November 29, 2015) Russia’s size and broad range of environments, from the arid southern steppe to the frigid Arctic, expose the world’s largest country to many aspects of climate change. President Vladimir Putin is one of dozens of leaders expected to attend a UN conference on climate change that starts […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Energy-Rich Russia Pays Little Attention to Climate Change”

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

AP covers Russia’s posture towards climate-related issues and environmentally focused alternatives. The issue is largely absent from public discussion and officials appear to give it only lip service, when they’re not sardonically dismissing it. * * *  In a country where even recycling is a little-understood concept, there is little support and few incentives from the national government for Russian […]

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Why climate change is not on Russia’s agenda

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

In Russia, global climate change has already had serious economic, environmental and social impact. A heady mix of conspiracy and inertia is to blame. (opendemocracy.net – Marianna Poberezhskaya – November 19, 2015) Marianna Poberezhskaya is a lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Politics and IR, Nottingham Trent University. She received her PhD in Politics and International Relations from […]

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The heat is on to meet the climate challenge

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

The UN climate conference in Paris later this month may determine Russia’s policies for years to come (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GLEB FEDOROV, RBTH – November 18, 2015) The largest flood in the history of Russia’s Black Sea coast killed 171 people in 2012. In just two days five months’ worth of rainfall hit the mountainous regions […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Russian media take climate cue from skeptical Putin”

Reuters covers Russian media coverage of climate issues. … the Russian public heard little mention of climate change, because media coverage across state-controlled television stations and print media all but ignored it. On national TV, the villains were locals who routinely but carelessly burn off tall grasses every year, and the sometimes incompetent crews struggling to put the fires out. […]

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But why Russia?

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

Recent arrival in Moscow, Fraser Young, delves into the myths and legends that help give his adoptive new home such a mysterious allure. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – FRASER YOUNG , SPECIAL TO RBTH – October 27, 2015) Fraser Young is a recent graduate of Leeds University, where he studied History and Russian Language; he is an avid […]

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New research shows the Arctic is warming faster than previously believed

Arctic Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yana Pchelintseva, special to RBTH – September 11, 2015) Russian scientists have found about 700 “methane holes” in the Arctic shelf. The scale of emissions shows that the permafrost has degraded severely, and researchers think the thawing is irreversible. A team of Russian scientists spent over 20 years examining thermokarst lakes – bodies […]

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U.S. State Department bans government bodies from cooperating with Russia on climate issues

Globe Graphic Simulating Climate Shifts

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) The U.S. State Department has banned the cooperation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with Russian counterparts in climate studies, head of Roshydromet environmental monitoring authority Alexander Frolov has announced. “There are difficulties in relations with our partners, primarily the United States. The State Department officially banned climate-related cooperation to state bodies, such […]

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Discounting the future of climate change in Russia

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(opendemocracy.net – Maria Sharmina, Christopher Jones – January 22, 2015) Dr Maria Sharmina and Dr Christopher Jones are researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester. Like it or not, global warming will affect Russia, and ignoring it only stores up problems for later. The future is not what it used to be. Giant methane ‘holes’, […]

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Russia’s Rate of Global Warming Twice as High as World Average

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2014) Russia is heating up 2.5 times faster than the rest of the world, but may yet stand to benefit from it, the country’s chief meteorologist said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency. Temperatures in Russia increase 0.43 degrees Celsius per decade, compared with a world average of 0.17 degrees, said […]

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The problems of environmental activism in Russia; Climate change is still of little interest to Russians. But why?

Polar Bear on Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Angelina Davydova – November 17, 2014) Angelina Davydova is an independant environmental journalist based in St Petersburg. This autumn, in cities worldwide there were climate-themed marches to tie in with the Ban Ki-Moon UN summit, the most of important of which was a 400-thousand-strong demonstration in New York; and Russia too passed a series of measures. On 23 […]

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Come rain or shine: How Russians deal with the weather

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Richard Winterbottom, special to RBTH – November 3, 2014) Keeping a weather eye open: With winter slowly creeping in, our newly repatriated expat recalls how Russians react to the weather. Last week my Facebook and Vkontakte walls have been plastered with pictures of perviy sneg (first snow of the year) in several of […]

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Russia Could Be Facing 35-Year Cold Weather Spell, Scientist Says

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2014) The early onset of winter experienced this year by residents in Siberia and the Ural Mountains could mark the start of a 35-year cycle of colder weather, a leading Russian scientist said Wednesday. “Changes in climate are cyclical. From 1946 to 1976, there was a cold cycle, which was then replaced by […]

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Muscovites in for a Harsh Winter as Temperatures Set to Plunge

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 17, 2014) After several years of relatively mild winters, Russia is gearing up for what meteorologists say will be a truly “Russian winter,” with its traditional frosts and ample snowfall. “Our estimations show that this year’s winter will be closer to our long-term average,” Alexander Frolov, head of the Federal Agency for Hydrometeorology and […]

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What will be the cost of global warming to Russia?

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Fedorov, RBTH – April 9, 2014) The series of unusual climatic events that has affected Russia over the past few years has continued into the beginning of 2014. With dramatic global changes predicted as a result of rising temperatures, what awaits the country’s geography and economy? The series of unusual climatic events […]

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Abnormal heat waves, floods will continue due to global warming – experts

File Photo of Past Disaster

(Interfax – April 1, 2014) Contrary to widespread belief, global warming is continuing, with Russia hit the hardest, the UN Panel on Climate Change said in a report. The 1,500-page report, prepared by more than 250 experts, was published on Monday and will be submitted to governments, which members of the Russian group of experts said at a press conference […]

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Snowstorm Paralyzes Moscow on April Fool’s Day

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 2, 2014) A snowstorm buffeted Moscow for about 18 hours, snarling traffic and blanketing the city in a record 17 centimeters of white that many residents probably wished was an April Fool’s joke. “Winter has returned to Moscow, and this is no April Fool’s joke,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at a City Hall meeting. […]

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Interfax: No shortages of snow likely at Winter Olympics – expert

Sochi 2014

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) – No shortages of snow are likely in Sochi, said Roman Vilfand, chief of the weather monitoring service, Hydrometcentre. “The snow is thick and firm enough. No problems are likely to arise with the snow, at least through the first 20 days of February,” Vilfand said. Vilfand’s deputy in charge of hydrometeorological support for the Games, […]

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Rain or Shine, Putin Takes the Blame

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – SOCHI – January 28, 2014) It has been raining in Sochi for two weeks. The rain isn’t expected to disrupt the Winter Olympics, which open Feb. 7 on the snow-covered mountains looming over this subtropical Black Sea resort. But the rain is the subject of urban legend. Both good and bad weather […]

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Natural Gas Seen as Antidote to Warming

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – January 17, 2014) As a major exporter of fossil fuels, Russia may seem an unlikely candidate for global environmental champion, but macro-economic experts believe the country can play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and the impact of climate change. This uncommon view of the country’s potential to support ecological improvement […]

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Russia Nears Record Highs as North America Shivers

Snowy Scene with Trees and Hills file photo, adapted from NWS image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 8, 2014) Moscow’s unseasonably warm weather is expected to continue over the next few days, creating the potential for setting temperature records that are a far cry from those being caused by the polar vortex in the United States and Canada. Fobos weather center said that temperatures in Moscow were expected to reach three […]

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Stranded Russian Vessel Free from Antarctic Ice

Antarctica Map

MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) ­ A Russian ship stranded in the East Antarctic since Christmas managed to break free due to favorable weather conditions, the vessel’s owner said Tuesday. The Akademik Shokalsky has left the ice trap and is currently speeding north at 7 knots, said Yury Volkov, the director of the Far Eastern Regional Hydrometeorological Research Institute. The […]

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The Chilling Draft of Russia Or How to Avoid Catching a Cold

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andy Frecka – December 16, 2013) From Murmansk to Magadan, Sochi to Salekhard, and from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, its tentacles weave a web of hideous destruction. Quietly, on the steppes of Siberia, now whispering over the Urals, then across the Volga. Now coming down your street as you innocently sit in your home. No, I […]

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Meteorologist blames global warming for late snow accumulation in Moscow region

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – November 26, 2013) Global warming has delayed snow accumulation in the Moscow region for eight or nine days on average as compared with the second half of the 20th century, Hydro-Meteorological Center Director Roman Vilfand said. “Climate change has shifted steady snow accumulation in the Moscow region by approximately eight or nine days over the past 20 years,” […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Near Last in Environment Protection Ranking

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia ranked 53rd out of 58 countries in a new ranking of efforts to prevent climate change. Russia lost two slots from last year in the Climate Change Performance Index, presented Monday at a climate conference in Warsaw by the Bohn-based NGO Germanwatch. The first three slots in this year’s rating were left unoccupied […]

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RIA Novosti: All-Time Record Set for Warmest Fall Night in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian weather experts have said that Tuesday night was the hottest ever recorded in Moscow during the fall season. Mayak radio station cited the Moscow Weather Bureau as saying that overnight temperatures in the city stood at around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures in Moscow typically hover around freezing point by November, […]

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Have we passed the point of no return on climate change?

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Kislyakov, special to RBTH – October 28, 2013) The debate about the permanence of climate change goes on, but the effects of warmer temperatures can already be felt. In an article published in the journal “Nature” in mid-October, British scientists said they had defined a certain “point of non-return” for climate change […]

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