Sunday, March 11, 2018

Global Warming Destroying Coastline, Critical Infrastructure in Russian North

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 11 – 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.

            The ministry’s All-Russian Center for Monitoring and Predicting Extraordinary Events says these developments are especially worrisome because of the importance of the Northern Sea Route to Moscow’s plans and because of the presence of atomic power stations and the basing of nuclear-powered ice breakers (

                Other facilities in the North that may become the source of technogenic accidents include “chemically dangerous and explosive objects and important elements of communications,” all of which are worrisome. But some things, the center says, are absolutely predictable like the erosion of the coastline.

            Among the areas most profoundly affected, the center continues, are Chukotka, the Kolyma and Indigirka river estuaries, most of the Western Siberian lowland, the shoreline of the Kars Sea, Novaya Zemlya, and also the areas in the north of European Russia where the permafrost is melting especially quickly.

            Because these are major oil and gas producing regions and the site of numerous military facilities, the center says, the Russian authorities are concerned that last year alone “more than 100” events occurred in which roads, housing, pipelines or other facilities were harmed. Unless preventing measures are taken, such events will affect Russia’s economy and national security.

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