Global warming plays an important role in Russia

2024-02-24 2024-02-24T15:41:58Z
طقس العرب
طقس العرب
فريق تحرير طقس العرب

Arabia Weather - Although governments around the world may be racing to avoid the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change, the economics of global warming play out differently in Russia.

For example, in Pevek, a small port city located on the Arctic Ocean in the far north of Russia, the warm climate is seen as a blessing. The people of Pevec are benefiting from the Arctic shipping boom, as the warming climate is seen as an opportunity to boost the local economy and develop infrastructure, as well as improving living conditions for the local community.

Global warming plays an important role in Russia

Before rising temperatures opened up new economic horizons, the city of Pevek and its communities were mostly deserted, one of many stagnant icy outposts of the Soviet empire. During the Soviet era, the city witnessed a significant decline in population, falling from about 25,000 people to about 3,000 people.

But as global warming increased, the wheel of fortune began to spin again, with the population rising by 1,500 people, demonstrating - at least in some small areas - the Kremlin's strategy of adapting to changes, by spending where necessary and making a profit. At every possible opportunity.

Arable land expands, as farmers begin planting corn in parts of Siberia that had never been farmed before. Heating bills fall in the winter, and Russian fishermen have begun to find modest amounts of pollack in the thawing areas of the Arctic Ocean near Alaska.

One benefit that the people of Pevec have not noticed is that they have not felt a change in the climate, as the weather seems as cold as ever to them, even though the average temperature is 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 20 years ago.

But nowhere is the outlook brighter than in Russia's far north, where rapidly rising temperatures have opened up many new opportunities, such as mining and energy projects.

The retreat of the Arctic ice has left commercial shipping in the Northwest and Northeast Passages in Russia's bear grip. Tankers and cargo ships coming from the East and Southeast Asia no longer needed icebreakers to make their way to Europe via the White Silk Road.

To understand how important these new corridors are, consider the traditional route from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Shanghai in China. In the early 19th century, ships had to travel around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, a distance of about 26,000 kilometres. But with the opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1869, it became possible to avoid the long and arduous journey around Africa, making the journey 23% shorter.

Across the Russian Arctic, a business consortium of companies backed by the Russian government is pursuing a plan to invest 735 billion rubles (about 10 billion dollars) over five years to develop the Northeast Passage, a shipping lane extending between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans that the Russians call the “Roadway.” North Sea". This plan aims to attract shipping between Asia and Europe, reducing dependence on the Suez Canal, in addition to promoting mining, natural gas and tourism projects.

As the Arctic ice recedes, these business ideas make more sense. For example, this shipping lane reduces approximately 24% of the journey along the Northern Sea Route from Busan, South Korea, to Amsterdam. Thus, it contributes to saving time and significantly reducing fuel costs, making it a water route of great strategic importance.

Although traffic is currently sparse, in the near future it is expected that ships will be able to navigate this route without the assistance of icebreakers, as ice-free and warmer seas will provide a safe path for large numbers of merchant ships to pass.

This oceanic trade route, full of paradoxes and of great strategic importance, has never been taken before by any country. Now, Russia is tightening its grip on it, with China calling it the “Polar Silk Road,” and Russia considering it its own internal waterway. The route extends from the Bering Strait in the east to the Kara Gate in the west, covering about 5,600 kilometres, and is used by the majority of the international community as an international corridor.

The Russian government has handed over oversight of the route to the state nuclear energy company Rosatom, which coordinates investment in shipping lines. It imposed restrictions on the traffic of foreign warships, which must be limited without notice for up to 45 days and require express permission from the Russian government.

The beginning was in 2017 when a Russian oil tanker crossed the North Pole without the need for icebreakers, completing its journey between Asia and Europe in a short period of only 19 days. This is much less than the 48 days it usually takes for ships to move from China to Europe's largest port, in Rotterdam.

The warming climate is melting the ice caps, making this area of ocean accessible for the first time in human history, making it easier to transport the fossil fuels that caused the ice to melt in the first place. As more ice cover is lost, this transpolar route will be more accessible during more months rather than just two a year.

Ship traffic in the Russian Arctic rose by about 50% in 2020, although it still represents only 3% of traffic through the Suez Canal. However, a trial run in February 2021 using a specially reinforced merchant ship provided evidence that the passage could be crossed in winter. Therefore, traffic is expected to rise sharply when the road opens year-round, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev told Russian media.

Read also: The frozen treasures of the Arctic... What is Russia’s position?


Source: aljazeera

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
See More
Related News
The Arabia Weather Center publishes a scientific report on the rare rain event that affected the Emirates and the region during the past week

The Arabia Weather Center publishes a scientific report on the rare rain event that affected the Emirates and the region during the past week

Video | Burj Khalifa is decorated with the colors of the Omani flag... and why

Video | Burj Khalifa is decorated with the colors of the Omani flag... and why

Saudi Arabia | Active winds with strong gusts cause dust and dust in several areas today

Saudi Arabia | Active winds with strong gusts cause dust and dust in several areas today

Sultanate of Oman - 5:35 am | Rain of varying intensity affects parts of Al Buraimi Governorate

Sultanate of Oman - 5:35 am | Rain of varying intensity affects parts of Al Buraimi Governorate