JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. and Russia pledge to ‘move together’ against climate change” – Financial 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

“First positive sign of potential easing of tensions since last month’s summit” “Russia, … fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has signed up to the Paris climate agreement to limit emissions. Rapidly rising temperatures in Siberia … flooding and forest fires have made climate … increasingly important …. Putin, who four years ago blamed rising global temperatures on volcanoes and ‘cosmic […]

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‘Green Shift’ Occurring across Russian Political Spectrum, Shaburov Says

Russia Regions Map

Most parties … participating in the upcoming Duma and regional legislative assembly elections are now including environmentalists in their list of candidates […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Military Seeks to Outmuscle U.S. in Arctic” – Wall Street Journal

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

“For Moscow it is the last geopolitical battleground where it holds the advantage over Washington and Beijing” “… [N]ew and refurbished bases [are] meant to service the Kremlin’s ambitions in the resource-rich Arctic. … combined to form a new military district … under … the Northern Fleet, Russia’s foremost Arctic naval force[] … [with fleet] headquarters … on the Kola […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic-Superpower Jostling Heats Up as Russia Takes on Key Role” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

“Russia’s Sergei Lavrov claimed this week that ‘this is our land and our waters’ as NATO allies boost military activity” “… Russian and U.S. diplomats … [signal] rising tensions between [powers] racing to seize Arctic resources …. Arctic Council [participants] weren’t due to discuss security. But … Russia’s … Sergei Lavrov declared … the Arctic ‘is our land and our […]

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The Prospects for U.S.-Russia Climate Engagement Under Moscow’s Chairing of the Arctic Council

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

… [T]he rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council … intergovernmental forum … will pass from Iceland to Russia for a two-year term. … [as] the organization grapples with multiple challenges and Russia-West relations have hit another historic low […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Harvesting of whales, dolphins to be banned in Russia – Mishustin” – Interfax

File Photo of Dolphins Swimming and Leaping, adapted from image at noaa.gov

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) – The Russian government is planning to ban the harvesting of whales and dolphins for industrial and coastal fishing purposes, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said. “We are planning additional regulations, this time for individual and coastal fishing purposes. First of all, this will apply to whales and dolphins. The new bill will ban their harvesting. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden invites Putin, Xi to his first major climate talks” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Smokestackm Emssions and Sky adapted from image at nasa.gov with credit to EPA

“… Biden … has invited … Putin … and Xi Jinping … to … virtual climate talks. … [scheduled for] 22-23 April. … Some 40 invitations [were sent] to … leaders of … major countries, as well as [some at-risk, low-lying] countries …. If Putin or Xi attend, Biden will have to walk a fine line diplomatically, given claims of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where Climate Scientists See Danger, Russia Sees an Opportunity” – Bloomberg

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

“Rising temperatures in the Arctic are a warning sign for the planet. The melting ice has an economic upside for Russia.” “Russia … fourth-biggest [greenhouse gas] emitter … [also faces Arctic] temperatures … warming more than twice [that of global rates] …. [With] more than a fifth of the planet’s forests, Russia has [had] two consecutive years of record-breaking wildfires […]

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Russian Company Pays Largest Legal Award In History — Almost $2 Billion — For Devastating Arctic Fuel Spill

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

… [T]he Krasnoyarsk City Court of Arbitration ruled that almost all of the sum, the largest legal award in Russian history, must go to the federal treasury […]

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From Russia with Questions

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

… [Our NASA Earth Observatory] team noticed a … message with a peculiar and beautiful image from Russia near 66 degrees north latitude. It turned into a scientific detective story and an unresolved case […]

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Expert Survey: How Will Climate Change Impact U.S.-Russian Relations?

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – Jan. 28, 2021) As the effects of climate change grow more intense each year, attention is shifting to the inevitable geopolitical impacts of a warming planet. In 2020, Russia experienced its warmest winter on record, while the summer saw forest fires rip through Siberia like never before. At the same time, a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Blame Climate Change for Historically Warm Fall in Russia’s Biggest Cities, Experts Say” – Moscow Times

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

… Russia’s two largest cities experienced the warmest autumn temperatures of their recorded histories in 2020 …. And it’s only the beginning, experts say […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Along Russia’s ‘Road of Bones,’ Relics of Suffering and Despair” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

“The Kolyma Highway in the Russian Far East once delivered tens of thousands of prisoners to the work camps of Stalin’s gulag. The ruins of that cruel era are still visible today.” “… [P]risoners, hacking … through insect-infested summer swamps and winter ice fields, brought the road … [which] then brought yet more prisoners … a torrent of slave labor […]

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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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