By 2050, eight Russian regions will be submerged under water, Urals researchers say

Photo: Yevgeniy Zhirnykh / Znak

Photo: Yevgeniy Zhirnykh / Znak 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Part or all of eight Russian regions will be under water by mid-century as a result of global warming and the melting of permafrost, a development that experts say will force the Russian government to radically change its development plans for the resource-rich and security-important Far North, according to researchers in the Urals.

Climate specialists at the Urals Federal University have determined, Igor Pushkaryov reports on the Znak portal, that the melting of the permafrost over the next three decades mean that “part of the territory of eight regions of the Russian Federation will disappear under water.”

Temperatures above the permafrost zone have changed “sharply” over the last 50 years, the researchers say. Earlier, they averaged about minus 10 degrees centigrade; now the average minus five degrees, and when they reach “plus one,” the experts say, “the permafrost will thaw and everything will collapse.”

Within five years, the changes will be obvious, and in a few decades, the situation will “already be a catastrophe.” Western Siberia where the permafrost is thinnest will be hit first and “all the cities of the Yamal Peninsula” will be flooded. Consequently, “all the oil and gas infrastructure will collapse, as well as all the oil and gas pipelines.”

Western Siberian Plain, the world's largest unbroken lowland, on a satellite map of North Asia (Image: Wikipedia)

Western Siberian Plain, the world’s largest unbroken lowland, on a satellite map of North Asia (Image: Wikipedia)

In addition, the initial melting will undermine all buildings in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk oblasts, the Komi Republic, the Yamalo-Nenets District, Krasnoyarsk Kray and the Sakha Republic.” And subsequently, it will flood even the central Urals region as well. That will put an end to life in Russia as we know it now.

What is most immediately disturbing is the Russian government’s response: it has cut back the funding of research in this area.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Alex George

    I rather doubt anything as radical as that will happen “ending of all life in the region” etc.

    But these things have happened before and they are real – earth’s temperature moves in cycles, and the arctic and sub-arctic will need to get used to warmer temperatures.

    The article is right that this is not a good thing for Putin’s plans . His regime is heavily dependent on selling oil, and even a little warming will devastate the existing oil infrastructure.

    And sure, more resources can potentially be accessed, but that still takes money, which Russia hasn’t got.

  • zorbatheturk

    Bullish mosquito repellant futures.

  • Mykola Potytorsky

    Russia underwater works for me

  • Dirk Smith

    China has better hurry on their inevitable annexation of Siberia.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Peking wants the territories stolen by Aleksandr II back, and they are well to the south.

      • Rafael Hernandez

        Not before Russia takes its rightfull land Donbass

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          With WHAT? The Kolorads were shot to pieces at Avdiivka early this month, the trucks of the new “humanitarian convoy” will be taking the bodies back to Rostov oblast, to the dwarf’s mobile crematoria. Any further attempts will meet the same fate: lots of dead Kolorads for no gain of ground.
          Dwarfstanian mercenaries are deserting, and Dwarfstanian regular soldiers are resigning. Increasingly they have no wish to be shot to bits for the dwarf’s megalomanic vision of the Russkii Mir.
          And Dwarfstan has no rightful land, neither in the Donbas nor the Crimea.

        • Tony

          It’s not their rightful land, never has been.

          • Rafael Hernandez
          • Dagwood Bumstead

            The Crimea is Ukrainian, and has been ever since Georgi Malenkov transferred the peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 with full approval of the 19th Presidium (later known as the Politburo), conform a decision taken by Stalin. What’s more, both Yeltsin and Putin signed several treaties with the Ukraine in which the Crimea was recognised as Ukrainian. End of story, no discussion of Ukrainian sovereignty is possible.

          • Scradje

            This is of course true. However, Krim, being a peninsula of Ukraine, has never ‘belonged’ to RuSSia, any more than the rest of Ukraine. The Moskals, then as now, fail to understand the difference between ‘part of’ and ‘occupied by’.

          • Rafael Hernandez

            But prior to that it was Russian land for 200 years, hence why Russia has a bigger right to Crimea than Ukraine. We also saw the opinion of the people with the Referendum

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Only 171 actually- from 1783 when Catherine II seized it until 1954. What’s more, before 1783 the Crimea was part of the Ottoman empire for over 350 years, so Turkey has far more rights than Dwarfstan.
            As for the “referendum”, it has no legal basis whatsoever. The “results” were false- do you seriously believe 122%!!! of Sevastopol’s population voted???? Even Igor Girkin called the “referendum” a farce on Dwarfstanian TV in January 2015.

            The dwarf has a choice: he can hand the Crimea back to Kyiv, or Dwarfstan’s economy will be wrecked and he will still have to hand the peninsula back.

          • Vol Ya

            what opinion of the people. the ballots were prefilled and precounted even before the referendum was held. putin has never held a vote where he did not determine the results before the vote.

        • Vol Ya

          Russia is dying from all sides and the best putin can do is send a loser troll like you to wrote lies on this website. how is that going to solve Russia’s problems. maybe you need to drink some body lotion like your fellow russians did and die. nobody will miss you Russian swine.

  • Brent

    Blame Obama!!! Blame NATO!!! Blame Bandera!!!

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    The environment was never a concern in the USSR- according to Soviet propaganda environmental problems were purely western decadent phenomena which did not occur in the USSR. The current attitude of officialdom in Dwarfstan is no different. But even if officialdom’s attitude were to change, it’s too late, and (to quote Medvedev) there’s just no money- it’s either been pilfered by the dwarf and his crooked chums, wasted on prestige projects or burnt up in the dwarf’s senseless wars..

  • Tony

    Last I checked sea level raise maps, st. Petersburg will also experience a great deal of flooding and it’s like russias second capital.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Flood barriers were built to protect St Petersburg with technical advice from the Netherlands, but it remains to be seen whether they will be sufficient. If they aren’t, St Petersburg will be well and truly stuffed.
      But look on the bright side: 55, ul. Savushkina will be flooded as well!!! And the Savushkina trolls wil be washed out of their mud huts in the bogs surrounding St Petersburg.

  • Vol Ya

    Russia won’t make it to 2050. it will be gone long before then. Russia is dying. There is nothing Russia can do to reverse its demographic decline. It is arithmetic at this point – rising poverty and disease rates and declining life expectancy.