NEWSWATCH: “General Frost to the Rescue: cold helps Russia comply with OPEC deal” – Reuters

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

“… Russia … in the past … accused of dragging its feet in implementing oil production and exports deals, reduced production by 100,000 barrels a day in the first few days of January … a third of the way towards the total cut Russia promised to deliver by mid-2017. … [at least partly] the result [of]  …unusually cold temperatures in […]

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NEWSLINK: “It was minus-22 in Moscow last weekend; So of course it was outdoor party time” – Washington Post/David Filipov

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

“… Russia takes off the week between New Year’s and Eastern Orthodox Christmas, which fell on Saturday. Temperatures began dropping Friday and on Saturday dipped past the 120-year-old record for the date to minus-22 degrees — during a weekend of outdoor events that mostly went off as scheduled. …”

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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: 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 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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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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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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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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Happy in Yakutia and Russia

Map of Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 23, 2014) Could you be happy living somewhere where temperatures drop below 50 degrees Celsius in the nine-month-long winters? It seems hard to imagine, but the residents of Siberia’s Yakutia in the heart of the Asian part of Russia – the coldest place in the world – seem […]

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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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NEWSLINK: Russians hold outdoor kissathon in coldest city

Red Valentine's Heart

[“Russians hold outdoor kissathon in coldest city” – AFP – February 14, 2014 – news.yahoo.com/russians-hold-outdoor-kissathon-coldest-city-140334458.html] Russian couples in Yakutsk took part in a Saint Valentine’s Day kissing contest called “Love warms you up,” with the winners kissing for one hour and twenty minutes, the last 20 minutes spent with the man also picking the woman up and holding her in […]

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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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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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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: 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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Russian winter: Why gray brings on the blues

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

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 10, 2013) It’s cold, it’s gray, and – given that it’s only October – it’s going to get worse. The weather this time of year is not just unpleasant – it can affect everything from the economy to how Russians feel about their lives, experts say. After record-breaking rainfall in September […]

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Soggy September Breaks 130-Year-Old Rainfall Record

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 25, 2013) Moscow residents may not have gotten the typical “Indian summer” this September, but they were able to get an idea of what life is like in a rainforest, just not the tropical variety. As of Tuesday, about 174 millimeters of rain had fallen on Moscow, which is equivalent to the monthly average […]

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Heat wave in Moscow repeats century-old record

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) Temperatures soared to 31.4 degrees Centigrade in Moscow on Thursday afternoon, the hydro-meteorological bureau of Moscow and the Moscow region told Interfax. “A century-old record has been repeated: Moscow had temperatures of 31.4 degrees Centigrade on June 27, 1911,” it said. The bureau does not rule out the temperature record might be beaten by […]

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Moscow Weather Sets Another Temperature Record

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, May 15, 2013) ­ The spring weather in Moscow broke the temperature record for the second day running on Wednesday, hitting 28.8 degrees Celsius (83.8 degrees Fahrenheit), Meteonovosti weather website reported on Wednesday. “For the second day in a row, Moscow has set a record high. The previous maximum temperature for May 15, registered in 1946, […]

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Spring Arrives in Moscow

Gorky Park file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 17, 2013) The federal weather bureau announced on Wednesday that all the snow in the capital had finally melted, giving Muscovites the go-ahead to cheer the arrival of spring. On Wednesday morning, the snow cover at the weather station at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow had fallen to zero centimeters from Tuesday’s measurement […]

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Over Three Meters of Snow Fell on Moscow This Winter

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 – April 12, 2013) It’s official: This past winter will down in history as one of the snowiest ever. An astounding 3 meters, 29 centimeters of snow fell on Moscow, more than double the average of 1.5 meters, Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov said Friday. The snowfall hit another record on Feb. 12, when 30 centimeters of […]

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Heaviest Snowfall in a Century Hits Moscow

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 – Roland Oliphant – February 6, 2013) The heaviest snowfall in a century brought Moscow and the surrounding region to a near standstill and left hundreds of people without power, officials said Tuesday. And with snowfall set to continue at least until the end of the week, the authorities are bracing for more chaos on the […]

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Moscow Endures the Snowiest Winter in 100 Years

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

MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Moscow has not witnessed such a snowy winter in the past 100 years, Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov said on Tuesday, after heavy snowfall hit the Russian capital last night. “This is the snowiest winter in 100 years,” Biryukov said, adding that 216 centimeters (85 inches) of snow have blanketed Moscow since the beginning of […]

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Winter in Russia: cold indoors as well as out

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

(www.opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – January 16, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St. Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Most radiators in urban Russian homes are fed by hot water transported from heating plants miles away. Ageing pipes frequently burst, causing hardship and even fatalities. Could […]

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Russia’s Winter Transport: From the Troika to Rubber Tires

Map of Russia

(Voice of America – James Brooke – Dec. 3, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) It snowed in Russia last week. (Yawn. What else is new?) But Russia no longer is Dr. Zhivago country, a rural place where troika sleighs slide smoothly across white, wintry landscapes. Modern Russians have a deep, […]

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Moscow faces coldest winter in decades

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

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com –  Alina Lobzina – Dec. 5, 2012) Muscovites are to brace for the coldest winter in 20 years, a weather forecast service warned on Wednesday. “It will be like in the good old times ­ snowy and frosty, with no deviations,” a representative of the Fobos weather center told RIA Novosti. Winter seasons when Muscovites wade […]

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MOSCOW BLOG: 1812 revisited

Painting of Napoleon Bonaparte on Horseback

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 31, 2012) Exactly 200 years ago this month, Napoleon rode out of Moscow with what was left of the Grande Armée, having failed to crush the Russian army, only to be famously defeated himself by the Russian winter. Given the love of round number anniversaries by the press […]

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First Frost Forecast for This Week

Map of Russia

(Moscow  Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 22, 2012) With weather forecasters promising a rapid dip in Moscow’s temperature, traffic police urged drivers Monday not to delay installing winter tires on their cars ahead of an expected first frost. “With the arrival of fall, weather conditions have definitely become worse, which demands drivers be extra careful on the roads,” traffic police […]

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