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What climate change will bring to us?

According to meteorologists’ data, each of the past 2016 months has made its own temperature record. Such situation concerns academics and representatives of environmental public organizations who believe that climate changes not only provoke cataclysms but also are a fraught with hazardous incidents caused by permafrost thawing.

Plans for the Paris Climate Agreement implementation remain the subject of controversies in the Russian business community. One part of entrepreneurs sees the low-carbon plans as a threat to the economy. Businessmen who don’t share this position, experts, and NGO representatives find such opinion quite archaic and put forward proposals for the Strategy of low-carbon development.

April 26 marked 30 years since the Chernobyl NPS nuclear disaster. The events which had taken place in spring 1986 are listed in the world history as a major nuclear catastrophe. Despite the fact that the world community has acknowledged the dangers of nuclear energy, attempts to include NPSs in the list of possible ways for greenhouse gas emission reduction never stop. The nuclear power generation industry cannot help solving the problem: it only creates new ones, experts and representatives of public environmental organizations are sure.

Along with over 170 other countries, Russia signed the Paris Agreement – the new international climate agreement due to replace the Kyoto protocol – at a ceremony held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This day will be remembered for the highest number of countries that signed an international agreement on day one.

In the course of the World Economic Forum in the end of January in Davos, establishment of the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development was announced. Companies which join the global events on the planet’s natural resources protection climate problems solving might get huge benefits and protect their long-term result rating, economists say. Climate-related business initiatives started to appear in Russia.

In the present year, carbon intensity of the internal regional product (IRP) should turn into one of the indexes of regional authority’s efficiency. Representatives of public environmental organizations welcome implementation of the data reporting on greenhouse gas emissions; however, they believe that the effectiveness would go higher if regions acquire financial incentives for realization of their plans besides the only moral support.

During the climate conference in Paris, several influential financial organizations, along with heads of states and corporate CEOs made a public statement to support putting a price tag on carbon. However, the international community has mixed feelings about carbon trade.

In 2014 and 2015, the all-Russia public organization “Social Ecological Union” (RSEU) has carried out surveys in Russian regions on the results of implementation of the RF Climate Doctrine. Letters with requests for providing information had been sent to all regions of Russia.

The different scales of regional climate change in temperate latitudes of the Asia-Pacific region marked change in climatic conditions at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries in half a century time scales of 50-60 years, as well as inter-annual and multi-year fluctuations that depend on the phase of half a century of hesitation and under certain conditions can lead to an increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events.

Strategies of response action to climate change on different levels (federal, regional and municipal) will allow us to lower the risk of damage from negative effects of climate change. This is the conclusion made by the authors of the recently published Second Assessment Report on climate change and its effects on the territory of Russian Federation, by RosHydromet. Environmental NGOs make it clear that adaptation and mitigation measures must become an inevitable part of Russia’s national and regional policies.

On June 6, public consultations with the world’s citizens took place all over the world. They were focused on the topic of climate and energy and were part of the global World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, that unfolded in the run-up to the next round of UN climate talks in Paris later this year.

According to the scientists at the World Resource Institute (WRI), the number of the people on the planet that are affected by floods every year is going to increase threefold in the coming fifteen years. Environmental NGOs say that the leaders of the international community must focus on the mitigation of climate change effects and the adaptation to natural disasters.

Many people think of global warming as a positive process that is going to reduce the amount of snowfall, the number of snowstorms and the overall occurrence of extreme cold. MIT scientists debunk this myth and say that most regions in the Northern Hemisphere, including Russia, will be hit by heavier snowfall and extreme cold as the result of climate change.

To summarize the outcomes of 2014, the Climate Secretariat presents a top-5 of the year’s most important climate-related discoveries. Not all of them are actual scientific discoveries, strictly speaking. Rather, they are both the realizations that humanity has matured enough to come to, and naked facts - that present a serious dilemma for both Russia and the rest of the world.

Three quarters of Russians believe climate change is a threat to human existence, and one third is absolutely sure of this, according to results of a public opinion poll by the Global Challenges Foundation in Stockholm. Representatives of non-governmental environmental organizations believe that the climate change comes out of the sphere of scientific discussion and becomes a pressing issue for residents of Russia.

1Russia has stated that the goal of keeping global warming within 2 degrees in the new climate agreement shall not be a limiting factor. Representatives of environmental organizations believe that the agreement, which must be adopted in 2015, shall fix considerable and ambitious economic mechanisms to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The third part of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that it is possible to avoid the catastrophic climate change consequences, but only if the immediate and long-term reduction of carbon pollution will be started by every country.

The press conference "Climate Change - new risks and potential possibilities"was held in St. Petersburg INTERFAX agency on the April 7th. The experts presented their comments to the 2nd part of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report was submitted in Yokohama, 31st of March 2014. The world's leading climate scientists said to the governments that our society is not prepared for life in the face of rising risks related to the climate change. Now is a time for urgent actions.

ОNatural hazardous events were registered in more subjects of the Russian Federation in 2013 than previously. Experts say that the "nervosity" of the environment is growing. Representatives of environmental organizations and scientists are confident that prompt action on adaptation to climate change may reduce the impact of these trends.

The end of the year is usually the time to evaluate the year. In 2013 the concentration of climate-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed the milestone level of 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. How much more dioxide emissions people can release in the atmosphere without speeding up dangerous climate change? Scientists have concluded that more than half of the "carbon budget" has already been spent. There are no doubts now that the observed global warming is man’s handiwork, and there is no time left to think, whether to act.

In the end of the year 2013 the approaches to Climate Strategy for Saint-Petersburg were presented at the seminar, organized by City Natural Resources Committee in cooperation with Friends of the Baltic non-governmental organization. Experts presented data on the climate change consequences in the region, and proposals to urban environment adaptation to these consequences. This is a pioneer step in Russia to create a program for adaptation to various aspects of climate change consequences, but it still doesn’t include the low-carbon development plan.

Local observers at the climate negotiations in Warsaw, representing organizations and movements from all over the Earth, voluntarily resigned from the climate talks in Warsaw. This is done to show their disapproval with respect to countries that their inaction and lack of constructive position postpone or even make it impossible for the production of a comprehensive agreement. This is the first case of mass exodus of civil society from the climate negotiations in the history of the COP Climate negotiations.

On October, 28 the first in Russia presentation of 5th evaluative report of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was discussed in INTERFAX. That event was organized by Climatic Secretariat of the Russian Social Ecological Union and WWF, Russia.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its fifth report. Instead of the sensation expected by journalists, scientists have unveiled the "quiet" and weighted data. However, the tranquility of experts is not connected with joy at the fact that the effects of climate change should not be feared.

The flood that lasted two months on the Amur River, floodings in Sochi and in the Krasnodar region, fires in Siberia – it is already not possible to ignore such unpleasant natural disasters. Experts from Roshydromet (the State Committee for Hydrometeorology) confirm that the number of abnormal natural phenomena is growing every year, and it is time for our country to prepare for severe ordeals.

During the voting at the meeting of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Russia has blocked the proposal to create the world's largest polar reserve.

Climate change is no longer an intangible and rhetorical category: it changes the economic and political map of the world. Leading insurance companies refuse to insure entire regions, referring to climate risks, and scientists argue that global warming will increase the number of wars.

Mass media all over the world are filled with news that the rate of СО2 in the atmosphere has reached its historical maximum. 97% of global research proves that mankind is to blame for the irreversible climate change, Guardian has reported recently. Environmental NGOs believe that urgent abandonment of fossil fuel in favor of renewable power and energy efficiency can mitigate the consequences of the climate change.

“The warming, which is a manifestation of the global trend, continues on the territory of the Russian Federation.” This is the conclusion by the authors of the annual report on the Russian climate in 2012. Representatives of environmental organizations emphasize that Russia needed serious climate programs and actions to adapt "climate-sensitive" sectors and regions to changing climate conditions.

The Russian President approved the Strategy for Development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and national security for the period up to 2020. The main national priority of the document is industrialization of the Arctic and increased use of its carbon resources rather than conservation of vulnerable Arctic environment, protection of indigenous northern peoples and adaptation of the region to climate change.

Climate change affects the seasons and the severity of the influenza epidemics, as proved by researchers from the University of Arizona. If the climate situation will evolve in the same direction, risks to human health will become stronger: epidemics will become more long-lasting, intense and will start earlier than usual.

According to researchers at National Center for Atmospheric Research, climate change is occurring according to the worst scenarios. Representatives of Russian non-governmental environmental organizations believe that rapid climate challenges require quick response. They are sure that the Russian Federation, being one of the world's major emitters, need to urgently adopt a national strategic goal for 2050: reducing emissions by at least 50% of 1990 levels for all sources and sinks.

Reputed U.S. institutions: NASA Institute for Space Studies and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project published the latest data on the anomaly weather phenomena, which became more frequent, associated with climate changes. This document is an irrefutable argument in favor of the concept that only intensive efforts on reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere can save the humanity.

Specialists from the RAS Obukhov Institute of Physics of the Atmosphere (IFA RAS) presented a climate model for the three next centuries. The Russian scholars not only agreed with the world scholars’ conclusions regarding the upcoming global warming but also proposed a hypothesis that land-based ecosystems will soon start emitting carbon dioxide instead of absorbing it as is the case now.

The recent cataclysms in the south of Russia happened to be the most powerful in the entire history of observation. Total volume of one-day precipitations amounted to a monthly volume of precipitations in Thailand famous for its rainfall seasons. The majority of experts link the situation with the process of current global climate changes.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) presented in late November the scientific report "Food safety, agriculture and climate change by 2050: scenarios, forecasts and policy recommendations." The scientists conclude that Russia will suffer from the lack of adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change.

Russia's vast permafrost areas may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, endangering infrastructure in the Arctic zone, an emergencies ministry official said Friday.

Roshydromet (Federal Service on hydrometeorology and monitoring of the environment of the Russian Federation) has published the official report on specific features of climate in the Russian Federation in 2010. The report contains the data on anomalies of climate parameters and on extreme weather and climate events.

On January 14, 2011, British Petroleum (BP) and the largest Russian oil company Rosneft signed an agreement on co-operation in development of three oil fields in the Russian Arctic shelf. A catastrophe in the Arctic, even ten times smaller than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, with high probability will have dire consequences for the nature of the Arctic ecosystems and seriously contribute in global climate change.

Last year environmental catastrophes and climate problems have come out on top in the lists of the leading news agencies of the world, heat waves and fires in Russia among them. However, little real action has been seen in the attempt to address the roots of the climate catastrophe.

The Russian yacht “Peter I” made the 4 months record polar circumnavigation in the Arctics. Its crew noted the catastrophic destruction of the Arctic Ocean ice cover. Will polar bears survive in such a situation?

One of the most vivid environmental problems in the world is decreasing area and thickness of ice in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic environment is an indicator of global warming. At the same time, the Arctic natural systems contain mechanisms that can exert strong impact on the climate, unwinding "diabolical spiral" of warming. The effects of all these factors shall be studied seriously. In addition, the Arctic shelf stores huge hydrocarbon reserves. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls for study and conservation of the Arctic resources.

At the threshold of the climate negotiations in Cancun (Mexico) Russia's state-run 1 TV channel showed a documentary about climate change, where first time presented its dangerous consequences and necessity of urgent solutions.

Peat fires like those that occurred during this summer in Russia and in the United States, pose a serious threat to the climate. Russian Social-Ecological Union notes, that there is a possibility that heat, which exacerbated the problem of forest and peat fires this summer in Russia, had links to the consequences of climate change.

Volcanic eruption in Iceland may have short-term impact on the climate. Volcanic ashes in the atmosphere prevent penetration of sunlight to the ground and thus contribute to cooling. Critics of the global warming theory have decided that they obtained another argument against the evidence of global warming. But the consequences of volcanic activity disappear within a few years, while global warming caused by deeper and more permanent effects, including emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, continues. And the need for effective climate policies and the development of low-carbon energy remains.

15.12.2009


The Russian Socio-Ecological Union believes that boreal forests must be reflected in the climate agreement along with tropical forests, and they should be given considerable attention, as the largest natural carbon sinks. This was the opinion of participants in the debate, which took place on 14 December Klimaforum - parallel floor of the international climate conference in Copenhagen.

03.12.2009


The British Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) published a study, saying that if temperatures continued to increase at the present rate, by 2100 the sea level would rise by up to 1.4 metres — twice that predicted two years ago.

23.11.2009


A new study has been published on possible negative consequences of climate change on the forests of Russia, Northern America and Scandinavia. According to Russian NGOs, protection of boreal forests should become one of prioritires of the international climate agreements.