Staunton, January 21 – Global warming is hitting Russia nearly twice as hard as the rest of the land areas of the world, with average temperatures having risen in Russian 0.47 degrees Celsius over the last 40 years compared to 0.29 degrees elsewhere; and it is hitting the Russian North even harder, with temperatures there up 0.69 degrees over that period.
These trends, reported by the UN’s meteorological service, are forcing both the Russian government and the Russian people to take notice, according to Vadim Shuvalov, the outspoken mayor of Surgut in the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous District (gorod-812.ru/v-rossii-tepleet-slishkom-byistro-naselenie-budut-adaptirovat/).
At the end of last month, Shuvalov says, the Russian government finally officially recognized that global warming was happening, that Russia is suffering from that more than most other places, and that the authorities must take steps now to help the Russian population adapt to the changes that are coming as a result.
The government’s order No. 3183 confirming the December 25 decision posted on its website on January 4 (government.ru/docs/38739/). It says that Russia and Russians face numerous negative consequences from the rapid warming, including forest fires, the melting of permafrost, and the need for more electricity to power air conditioning in the summer.
But the government also says there will be so positive consequences from warming, including a reduction of energy costs in the winter, longer shipping seasons in the Arctic, and the ability to develop northern regions for agriculture. The Russian government committed itself to helping Russians adapt over the next two years.