JRL NEWSWATCH: “Climate Change in Russia and the Weaponization of Wheat” – The Center for Climate and Security/ Leah Emanuel

Arctic Map

“As temperatures in the Russian Arctic rapidly increase and permafrost continues to melt, Russian land feasible for wheat production is beginning to grow. … While wheat makes up only 2.3% of Russia’s total exports, this small percentage constitutes a major portion of the global wheat export market. … Relying on wheat production in these newly farmable lands, however, will not […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia’s ‘gateway to the underworld’ grows as record heat wave thaws permafrost” – Science Magazine/ Richard Stone

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“… Known to locals as the ‘gateway to the underworld,’ Batagay is … [earth’s] largest thaw slump …. Once just a gully … the scar has expanded … as … permafrost thaws and meltwater carries off … sediment. Now more than 900 meters wide, it epitomizes the vulnerability of permafrost in the Arctic …. Outbursts of pent-up methane gas in […]

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Siberia’s ‘Poles Of Cold’ Are Obliterating Heat Records, And Alarming Climate Scientists

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

.. The rapid pace of warming has stunned climate scientists, despite years of gradually rising temperatures. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Far-Reaching Consequences of Siberia’s Climate-Change-Driven Wildfires” – Smithsonian Magazine/ Theresa Machemer

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

“Smoke from the blazes is now reaching the West Coast of the United States.” “… [S]moke from the fires … spans over 1,000 miles … causing hazy skies [in] the northwestern United States …. Permafrost is rich in organic material that froze before it could completely decompose. Melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases on top of the pollution released by the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tie for warmest 12-month period globally as Siberia sizzles (Update)” – PhysOrg/ Marlowe Hood

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average across much of permafrost-laden Siberia last month …. Earth’s average surface temperature for July 2019-June 2020 was 1.3C above pre-industrial levels …. In the Arctic … an hourly temperature record for June … was set on the 21st near Verkhoyansk in northeastern Russia …. [P]reviously registered Arctic hourly highs in 1969 and 1973 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic sets ‘fantastical’ heat records: weather chief” – AFP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The Russian Arctic set record temperatures in June that sparked abnormal tundra fires … Russia’s weather service [director] said … blaming climate change for … ‘fantastical’ anomalies. Russia’s northern territories, including parts of Yakutia region which borders the Arctic ocean, have faced a heat wave … with some districts declaring a state of emergency. … He noted one record in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic Circle’s record temperatures heighten global warming concerns” – Financial Times/ Leslie Hook, Max Seddon

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Wild anomalies such as the 38C recorded in northern Russia this week underline climate change threat.” “… [N]orthern Russia has produced the highest temperature ever recorded inside the Arctic Circle …. [R]esidents of Verkhoyansk, north-east of Siberia in … Yakutia … have … been sunbathing in a town that at other times of the year shares the record as the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia’s persistent, freakishly mild weather is reverberating around the world” – Washington Post/ Andrew Freedman, Isabelle Khurshudyan

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The planet just had its warmest May, continuing a streak from 2014.” “… Siberia … has seen persistently extreme temperatures since the winter … [leading] to a damaging Arctic oil spill, spark[ing] early outbreaks of large wildfires and help[ing] vault global temperatures to new milestones. … Permafrost thawing across Siberia … has caused widespread problems such as buckled roads, collapsed […]

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Who Will Pay For Russia’s Unprecedented Oil Spill?

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

(Oilprice.com – Alex Kimani – June 11, 2020) Five days ago, Russia suffered its worst oil spill in modern history after a fuel storage tank owned by Russian nickel and palladium mining company, Nornickel, collapsed and spilled 21,000 tonnes (about 158,000 barrels) of diesel into the nearby Ambarnaya river outside the Siberian city of Norilsk. The accident–which has drawn comparisons […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Arctic Likely to See Ice-Free Summers Despite Climate Action, Study Says” – Moscow Times

Arctic Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 22, 2020) The Arctic will likely lose its summertime ice cover by 2050 even if current levels of CO2 emissions are significantly cut, a new study published in the American Geophysical Union’s journal has warned. Climate change has reduced sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean in recent decades, with 2019 tying with 2012 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “11,000 Scientists Warn of ‘Untold Suffering’ From Climate Change. Only 4 of Them Are Russian.” – Moscow Times

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

The Moscow Times spoke to one of the Russian scientists about his reasons for signing the open letter and his fears for the future. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Pjotr Sauer – November 8, 2019) Professor Alexei Kotov greets his colleagues as he navigates the poorly-lit corridors of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution in the south of Moscow, where […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Russia Stands To Change With The Climate” – Forbes/ James Rodgers

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

“… In a climate where winter temperatures in Arctic regions can fall below -50 degrees C (-58 degrees F), warmer weather might offer some relief. A research paper … even predicted … ‘Global warming will likely to bring more positive rather than negative effects for Russia’s food security and agriculture ….’ The same paper warned … ‘A major negative impact […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Radical warming in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground” – Washington Post/ Anton Troianovski, Chris Mooney, Michael Robinson Chavez, Trish Wilson, Brian Murphy, Brian Malasics

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

“… The permafrost that once sustained farming – and upon which villages and cities are built – is in the midst of a great thaw, blanketing the region with swamps, lakes and odd bubbles of earth …. In Yakutia … cattle and reindeer herding have plunged 20 percent …. Siberians … are being driven to migrate …. An international team […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Cities at Risk as Climate Change Accelerates Permafrost Thaw – Report” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 3, 2019) Russia’s permafrost is expected to thaw at an accelerating rate between now and 2100, a process that could trigger a “feedback loop” of carbon emissions, according to a new report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). More than 50% of Russia’s territory is located in the planet’s frozen cryosphere. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Invites Climate Activist Greta Thunberg to Speak in Parliament” – Moscow Times

Polar Bear on Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 1, 2019) Russia’s parliament has invited Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to address young Russians concerned about the environment. The 16-year-old schoolgirl has catalyzed global school strikes and inspired Russia’s nascent climate protest movement. Thunberg’s impassioned speech at the United Nations General Assembly last week sparked a fierce backlash in Russian society. “I invite […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic leader warns of ‘dramatic’ climate change impact; Head of remote Yakutia region expresses concern about effects of rising temperatures” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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

“The head of Russia’s largest Arctic territory has warned of ‘very dramatic’ impacts from climate change … Moscow comes under increasing pressure …. [with climate] emerg[ing] as an important domestic issue … due to … large-scale melting of permafrost in the north of the country and temperature increases … outpac[ing] global averages. … creat[ing] serious knock-on effects for Russia, including […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Is Warming Disproportionately Fast, Environment Ministry Says” – Moscow Times

Polar Bear on Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2019) Climate change is heating Russia at a faster rate than the rest of the world, the country’s environment ministry has said in a draft report of environmental data for 2018. Earlier reports have predicted that climate change will bring epidemics, drought and mass hunger to Russia if left unchecked. Melting permafrost in […]

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Yet Another Benefit from USSR’s Disintegration – Large Reduction in Release of Greenhouse Gases

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2019) The end of the Soviet Union brought many benefits, but one that has not attracted much attention up until now is that its demise has resulted in a significant decline in the release of greenhouse gases as a result of changes in post-Soviet food systems, a new study by […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia Could Be The Tourist Hotspot Of The Future, Literally” – Forbes/ Eric Mack

File Photo of People Working on Car in Siberian Woodlands

“The massive Asian side of Russia is often forgotten, as much of it consists often frigid and uninhabitable Siberian wilderness. … A team of Russian and American researchers looked at a number of computer models … [U]nder the most extreme scenario … [regarding] greenhouse gases … parts of Siberia where average January temperatures dip below minus 30 will be warmer […]

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‘The Ice Will Melt and We Will All Die’ – Global Warming Seen Sparking Epidemics in Russia

Ebola Virus, adapted from image at nih.gov with credit NAID

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 22, 2019) Most discussions of the impact of global warming on the Russian Federation have focused either on the ways in which the melting of permafrost will damage infrastructure in the northern part of that country, imposing severe economic costs, or extend the growing season in many places, giving Russia some […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia might ratify Paris Agreement by year end – Gordeyev” – Interfax

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) – Russia might ratify the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the year’s end, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said at his meeting with German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Mueller in Moscow. “Russia welcomes the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and views it as the solid international […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin reaffirms Russia’s plans to ratify Paris Agreement on climate change” – Interfax

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

ST. PETERSBURG. April 9 (Interfax) – Russia is committed to ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change after comprehensively analyzing it, but Russia’s role in maintaining environmental security in the Arctic should not be overestimated, President Vladimir Putin said. Speaking at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Putin corrected the mediator, who said that Russia is the […]

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Russians Will Suffer in Five Serious Ways from Global Warming, Kuvaldin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 12, 2018) Russians are so accustomed to thinking about how cold the climate is in their country that they have assumed that global warming will bring mostly positive changes to their lives, but Stanislav Kuvaldin says that in fact global warning carries with it five serious risks for them, all of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Autumn Fun: The Word’s Worth” – Moscow Times/ Michele A. Berdy

File Photo of Autumn Leaves and Wooded Trail, With Patches of Sunshine or Sky, adapted from image at fws.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“Осень: autumn There are, I’ve heard, places on earth where weather is not a topic of conversation. I’ve heard that in some places a few degrees up or a few degrees down is pretty much the entire range of weather events. That is not Moscow. Погода (weather) can run your life, determine when and if you go outside, raise or […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ministry Warns of Coming Environmental Apocolypse Fueled by Climate Change” – Moscow Times

Forest Fire file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 7, 2018) [Kommersant: kommersant.ru/doc/3732772] Russia’s environmental ministry has published a report that paints an apocalyptic future for the country due to climate change, with consequences including epidemics, drought, mass flooding and hunger. While Russia has been slated to reap economic benefits from a modest rise in global temperatures – which are expected to open […]

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Global Warming Destroying Coastline, Critical Infrastructure in Russian North

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 11, 2018) Global warming is leading to the erosion of shorelines in the Russian north by as much as four meters a year and to approximately one accident there every three days involving power stations, roads, gas and oil pipelines, and other infrastructure, according to analysts at the emergency services ministry. […]

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Arctic Winter ‘Warmest On Record’

Arctic Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 7, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/arctic-winter-warmest-on-record-us-russian-scientists-report/29084098.html) The winter of 2017-18 was the warmest on record for the Arctic, U.S. and Russian scientists have reported in separate studies. The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported on March 6 that the Arctic winter during December, January, and February […]

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2017 Hottest Year on Record in Russia

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 28, 2017) The passing year was Russia’s hottest in recorded history on the back of increasingly warm winters. “The average temperature [in 2017] was the warmest of all these years,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited Roman Vilfand, the head of Russia’s meteorological center, as saying on Thursday. He forecast above-average temperatures in […]

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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 file photo

(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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