Global warming threatens Moscow’s Arctic development plans and the lives of people there

One of the craters from methane gas explosions that appeared as a result of permafrost melting in the Russian Arctic caused by the global warming (Image: riafan.ru)

One of the craters from methane gas explosions that appeared as a result of permafrost melting in the Russian Arctic caused by the global warming (Image: riafan.ru) 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Some Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin, apparently believe that global warming will work to Russia’s ultimate benefit by allowing for crops over a larger portion of its territory; but in the shorter term, global warming is undermining Moscow’s plans to develop the Far North and even threatening the lives of people there, experts say.

According to experts, URA’s Vyacheslav Yegorov says, “everything that has been built” up to now or may be built in Russia’s North may collapse as the result either of unexpected subsidence as the permafrost melts or explosions from methane gas released as part of that process.

On the Yamal peninsula alone, one of Russia’s most important oil and gas fields, these twin developments are destroying buildings and pipelines and thus putting at risk Moscow’s plans for the regions. They are also threatening the lives and way of life of the people there, both indigenous and arrivals from elsewhere.

Specialists at the Scientific Center for the Cryosphere of the Earth in Tyumen say that the first gas bubbles that threaten to explode were identified three years ago. Now, some 7,000 of these dangerous places have been identified, they say; and the experts point out that the number has continued to grow even though this summer was cooler than the last three.

Aleksey Titovsky, the head of the scientific department of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, says that the appearance of these gas bubbles and their explosive potential “can radically change the approach to the exploitation not only of the Yamal but of the entire Arctic.”

Indeed, he continues, they already represent “a definite danger” both to gas pipelines and industrial objects and to the lives and way of life of the people who work for them or who carry on their traditional reindeer herding. Because scholars don’t understand yet why these gas bubbles are likely to explode, it isn’t possible to warn people in advance.

And Vitaly Bogoyavlensky, the deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Problems of Oil and Gas, say that these gas bubbles have already pushed up and damaged pipelines and, when they explode, are likely to do even more damage, possibly damaging them and leading to leaks.

But the first thing people in the region are likely to notice, Maksim Pershikov, the director of the Yamal Highway Inspectorate, says, is damage to roads, not only old ones but those constructed recently and supposedly with the most up-to-date methods and materials. Many of them are now becoming impassable and need to be replaced.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Ihor Dawydiak

    As if Putin khuilo’s fascist regime did not already have enough self inflicted wounds, Russia’s grand pederast and foremost spin doctor has now been forced to prepare the Russian people in accepting the fact that they will soon be faced with another ecological disaster as methane permeates their air and food supply. And along with this will come another distasteful moniker describing the Russian State: The land of sour cabbage.

    • RedSquareMaidan

      They will just blame everything on the CIA and Nuland’s cookies.

  • veth

    The Dutch military received a Buk anti-aircraft missile and will use it in the investigation of the flight MH17 disaster, reports RTL Nieuws.

    According to the television channel, on February 21st of this year, members of the Dutch Military Intelligence Service and the Security Service flew to Georgia on a Hercules cargo aircraft that belongs to the Ministry of Defense.

    The Buk missile was handed over to them in Georgia. The next day the plane returned, and the missile was sent to the military air base in Gilze-Rijen.

    A representative of the Dutch prosecutor’s office confirmed this information. According to him, the Netherlands appealed to Georgia for help, as the Netherlands Criminal Institute advised that as much information as possible be collected.

    “For this reason, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has contacted various countries, including Finland, Ukraine and Georgia. In accordance with UN Resolution 2166, Georgia provided the required legal assistance, and in early 2017 the Buk missile became available for criminal investigation,” he said.

    The TV channel, referring to its own sources, also said that the Buk missile is available to the Ministry of Defense, which wants to learn about its effectiveness.

    The Ministry of Defense, in particular, is studying how much of a threat the missile poses to the new fighter of the JSF program (single strike fighter). In harmony with this program, the newest F-35 fighter, the 5th generation, was developed.

    The Dutch news agency NOS noted that this is not the first Buk missile used by the Netherlands to investigate the MH17 disaster. Earlier tests were conducted in Finland, where the explosive power of the missile was tested.

    The crash of the Boeing-777, flight MH17, claimed the lives of 283 passengers and 15 crew members, including 80 children. Most of the victims were citizens of the Netherlands, Malaysia and Australia.

    The international team investigating the plane crash came to the conclusion that the airliner was shot down by a missile launched from the Buk air defense system and was delivered from the territory of Russia.

    Earlier it was reported that 100 people suspected of involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft have been identified, and they will be named in 2018.

    Buk missile system, Georgia, MH17, The Netherlands

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  • svend

    Morte good news. Even nature dont like Putler and his friends.

  • Oknemfrod

    I don’t know why the permafrost is melting. However, it’s sure as heck not due to “global warming”. Specifically, on the peninsula of Yamal (mentioned in the article as a vivid example of “warming”), the temperature trends over eons and including the last 200 years have stayed “flat as a road kill”, to quote the article linked below:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/30/more-yamal-tree-ring-temperature-data-this-data-is-flat-as-roadkill/

    Hence, it’s not the near-surface atmospheric temperature that causes the permafrost to melt. Perhaps something brewing down below, such as fermentation, is the real reason (at least it seems logical to suggest, particularly accounting for the presence of methane).

    p.s. The question whether it’s a bane or a blessing lies in an altogether different plane.

  • zorbatheturk

    Freeze Putin, then allow him to melt. Should solve a few issues…