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: “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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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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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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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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