17 June 2020   Leave a comment

Siberia is experiencing unusually high temperatures that are having a significant effect on the sensitive environment. The Guardian reports:

“Russian towns in the Arctic circle have recorded extraordinary temperatures, with Nizhnyaya Pesha hitting 30C on 9 June and Khatanga, which usually has daytime temperatures of around 0C at this time of year, hitting 25C on 22 May. The previous record was 12C.

“In May, surface temperatures in parts of Siberia were up to 10C above average, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Martin Stendel, of the Danish Meteorological Institute, said the abnormal May temperatures seen in north-west Siberia would be likely to happen just once in 100,000 years without human-caused global heating.

“Freja Vamborg, a senior scientist at C3S, said: ‘It is undoubtedly an alarming sign, but not only May was unusually warm in Siberia. The whole of winter and spring had repeated periods of higher-than-average surface air temperatures.”

We tend to think of climate change as something that will happen in the future, but the article notes how some of the effects of the warmer temperatures are immediately obvious:

“Thawing permafrost was at least partly to blame for a spill of diesel fuel in Siberia this month that led Putin to declare a state of emergency. The supports of the storage tank suddenly sank, according to its operators; green groups said ageing and poorly maintained infrastructure was also to blame.

Wildfires have raged across hundreds of thousands of hectares of Siberia’s forests. Farmers often light fires in the spring to clear vegetation, and a combination of high temperatures and strong winds has caused some fires to burn out of control.

“Swarms of the Siberian silk moth, whose larvae eat at conifer trees, have grown rapidly in the rising temperatures. ‘In all my long career, I’ve never seen moths so huge and growing so quickly,’ Vladimir Soldatov, a moth expert, told AFP.

The Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford have conducted a poll in 40 countries on how seriously people are taking the problem of climate change. They found that: “Climate change really matters to most people. On average, across all markets, around 69% of respondents stated that they consider climate change to be an extremely or very serious problem. Less than one in ten (9%) of our respondents does not see climate change as serious while around one in five (19%) said they were somewhat concerned. There is some variation across countries. Around 90% of respondents in Chile, Kenya, and South Africa view climate change as very or extremely serious. Chile and some countries in Africa have historically shown high levels of concern (Pew 2015), and the high figure for Chile could also have been related to its first internal population displacements last year as a result of a ten-year drought.2 In Africa too, many countries are already severely affected by the consequences of climate change.3 However, in Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands, only around half (or less) think that climate change is a severe problem.”

The countries that have the largest percentage of people who do not believe that climate change is a serious problem is revealing:

RankCountryPercent
1United States12
2Sweden9
3Australia8
4Norway7
5The Netherlands5
nullAll markets average3



Posted June 17, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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