JRL NEWSWATCH: “Warming shrinks Arctic Ocean ice to 2nd lowest on record” – AP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“… The extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and extending further south to Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia reached its summertime low of 1.4 million square miles … last week before starting to grow again. Arctic sea ice reaches its low point in September and its high in March after the winter. This year’s melt is second only […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An oil spill in Russia’s Arctic exposes risks for Moscow’s Far North plans” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan, Andrew Freedman

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

“Thawing permafrost in the rapidly warming region leaves Moscow’s ambitious Arctic expansion proposals literally on shaky ground.” “… [S]urg[ing] … climate change in interior Russia – more than three times the global average – is throwing new risks in the way of … Putin’s Far North agenda, among his top domestic initiatives. A key danger is … more infrastructure atop […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Melting Arctic Permafrost Threatens Russian Energy Firms’ Bottom Line – Morgan Stanley” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

Rapidly melting Arctic permafrost poses the greatest threat to major Russian energy producers’ infrastructure and financial indicators, according to a new Morgan Stanley report […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin sets new 2030 goals as National Projects scaled back” – bne Intellinews

Kremlin and River

“… Putin has signed a ‘July Decree’ … outlin[ing] … national development goals up to 2030 …. risk[ing] … [failure to] fulfill[] … [his] previous economic platform due to the … COVID-19[] crisis. … [with] deadlines for [the] National Projects spending spree … being pushed from 2024 to 2030. [The new platform] outline[s] five development goals: 1) maintaining the population, […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The massive Norilsk fuel spill could be linked to permafrost thaw, a growing threat to Arctic infrastructure” – Arctic Today / Melody Schreiber

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

“Infrastructure built on permafrost needs to be better monitored, experts and officials say.” “… [O]ne of the largest ever oil spills in the Russian Arctic may have been caused in part by permafrost thaw, according to the [polluting] company …. Experts … long warned that … [without] precautionary steps … such thaw could cause[] billions of dollars in damage to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia says has stopped spread of Arctic fuel spill” – AFP

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

“Russia has … contain[ed] a massive diesel spill into [an Arctic] river … the emergencies ministry [stated] … Environmentalists said the oil spill, which took place [a week earlier] … was the worst such accident ever in the Arctic region. … [A] diesel reservoir collapsed at a power station outside the northern Siberian city of Norilsk[ owned by a subsidiary […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Diesel Spill In Russian Arctic Could Be Putin’s Exxon Valdez” – Forbes/ Ariel Cohen

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

“… Putin ordered a state of emergency … in the Taymyr region near the Arctic Ocean, after 20,000 tons (150,000 barrels) of diesel fuel spilled from a Russian power plant into … soil and a nearby river. The accident occurred in the Siberian city … Norilsk … [T]he plant’s fuel reservoir collapsed into thawing permafrost, releasing its contents. Diesel is […]

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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: “Russians See Pollution as a Greater Threat Than Terrorism – Poll” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 23, 2020) [Photo caption in original: Nationwide protests rocked Russia in 2019 over unpopular plans to build landfills in remote parts of the country to take in waste from more populous areas.Sergei Bobylev / TASS] Russians believe that environmental pollution poses a greater threat to humanity than terrorism, according to the results of an […]

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New Moscow-St. Petersburg Highway Emblematic of Russia’s Road Problems and Much Else

Moscow Roads

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Nov. 15, 2019) By the end of November, the new M-11 superhighway between Moscow and St. Petersburg is scheduled to be opened for traffic, a move that will significantly shorten the time for travel between the two capitals. But both its construction and its finished form reflect many problems that plague Russian […]

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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: “The unraveling of Vladimir Putin” – Joseph Dresen/ The Hill

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… as tens of thousands of protesters once again took to the streets in Moscow to protest upcoming municipal elections, Russian state television showed a smiling … Putin riding with … [a] motorcycle club in Crimea. … a typical scene … the president doing tough guy stuff at the location of his most popular act of [the] annexation of Crimea. […]

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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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Dubbed The ‘Nuclear Titanic,’ Russia’s First Floating Atomic Power Plant Sets Sail Amid Environmental Fears

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 23, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-floating-nuclear-plant-lomonosov-sets-sail-arctic/30125553.html) Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant, which Greenpeace has dubbed a “floating Chernobyl,” has set sail on a nearly 5,000-kilometer voyage to its destination in the nation’s northeast. The floating plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, departed the Arctic port […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says It Won’t Share Rocket Explosion Data as Suspicions Swirl” – Moscow Times

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 20, 2019) Russia told an international organization set up to verify a ban on nuclear tests that a military testing accident in northern Russia earlier this month was none of its business and that handing it radiation data was entirely voluntary. Russia has acknowledged that five nuclear workers were killed in the explosion on […]

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Trump Calls Putin To Offer Help Battling Siberian Fires

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 1, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-army-called-in-to-fight-siberia-forest-fires/30085889.html) U.S. President Donald Trump has offered to help Russia battle widespread forest fires in Siberia as he seeks to repair Washington’s fractious relationship with Moscow. Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin to make the offer, the Kremlin said […]

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AUDIO JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘The Rot Starts From The Top’: Russians Protest Over Problems Big And Small” – NPR/ Lucian Kim

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

“… [As] Putin approaches his 20th year in power, anger over bread-and-butter issues is sparking protests across the country. Even in sleepy Pereslavl-Zalessky, population 40,000, [perched on a lake, with onion-domed churches, historic and picturesque qualities giving it an untapped tourist potential,] locals no longer hide their frustration with the powers that be. … [A] recent rally in … unkempt […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin orders governors to listen to locals on waste dump issue” – Interfax

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

(Interfax – July 23, 2019) Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the governments of Arkhangelsk Region and Moscow to take into account public opinion when settling the issue of siting rubbish dumps near the town of Shiyes. “The Arkhangelsk Region government and the Moscow government [are ordered] to take into account the opinion of the residents of Arkhangelsk Region when […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians’ Fear of Chernobyl Repeat Hits Record Low, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

Chernobyl File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2019) Fewer Russians believe that a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster could happen now than at any point in the past two decades, according to an independent Levada Center poll published Wednesday. The April 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Soviet Ukraine spread radioactive material across much of the Northern Hemisphere, affecting tens […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Half of Russians Are Worried About the Environment Where They Live – Survey” – Moscow Times

Russian Landfill; adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2019) Almost half of Russians are concerned about the environment in their regions, according to a study by the Moscow-based NAFI Research Center obtained by the state-run TASS news agency. Environmental issues have taken center stage at protest rallies across Russia over the past year, with citizens drawing attention to concerns including landfills, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Drowning in waste, Russians fume over lack of recycling” – AFP

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… rubbish towers above the Timokhovo dump outside Moscow, one of the biggest in Europe. Authorities plan to build an incinerator to burn some of the trash, but … activists are fighting for it to be recycled instead. Since 2013, residents have complained of foul sulphurous smells and worry that effluents are polluting ground water. … [A]uthorities acknowledged the smell […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Are Still 10 Chernobyl-Style Reactors Operating Across Russia. How Do We Know They’re Safe?” – Live Science/ Stephanie Pappas

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

“… Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant … [had an explosion and] spewed radioactive material across northern Europe. That reactor, a design called the RBMK-1000, was discovered to be fundamentally flawed after the Chernobyl accident. And yet there are still 10 of the same type of reactor in operation in Russia. How do we know if they’re safe? […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Russia’s Arctic, Oil Majors and Reindeer Herders Are Coming Together; Sustainable development and cooperation are replacing encroachment on pastures.” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – NARYAN-MAR, May 15, 2019) Russia’s oil and gas giants are establishing a new model in the country’s Arctic based on sustainable development and cooperation with the region’s native reindeer herders. A decade ago, locals were struggling to sustain their traditional way of life due to the energy firms’ growing encroachment on their pasturelands. And as […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inside the West’s Plans for Arctic War Against Russia” – DailyBeast/ Nico Hines

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

“Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?” “… deep in the Arctic Circle, some of the world’s best-trained commandos … struggl[e] to complete an ambush exercise knee-deep in … snow. Britain’s Royal Marines make painfully slow progress […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “A Russian ‘spy whale’ is having too much fun to leave Norway” – NBC/ Tony Brown, David K. Li

Map of Norway and Region, with Norway Highlighted, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“‘The whale was really friendly and came up to us and started opening its mouth, and just checking us out,’ a Norwegian official said.” “… A beluga whale – found in Arctic Norway with a camera harness strapped to its head – has been joyously seeking out human contact and is in no hurry to swim back …. The whale […]

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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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