Russian government sees harsh evidence of global warming

While the U.S. remains embroiled in a mind-boggling feud over whether climate change is real, Russia has warmed up to the scientific evidence. “Everyone is talking about climate change now,” President Dmitri A. Medvedev told the Russian Security Council this month. “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

Russia’s leaders have usually played the role of obstructionists in global talks about climate change because they thought that combatting it would harm their economic growth (where have we heard that before?) and because they believed that they would benefit from a warming planet. The vast stretch of frozen-over Siberia, they believed, would turn into a pleasant region of moderate temperature, ripe for agriculture and development.
But this summer changed their minds. The costs of climate change have been horrendous. Russia has suffered a devastating drought, and they’re still struggling to put out wildfires. From McClatchy:

Russia’s heat wave, along with its disastrous fallout, finally may have persuaded the Kremlin to combat climate change.

Russian officials, who until now have resisted dramatic action out of fears it would dampen economic growth, lately have issued strong statements linking global warming to the emergency Russia is facing. Some hope the abrupt change of tune will result in more effective environmental policies, even after the smog dies down.

“There is no question that we need to get ahead of climate change,” said Vladimir Slivyak, a co-chair of Ecodefense, a grassroots Russian environmental group. “This is a wake-up call.”

The crisis, which seems to have taken the Kremlin by surprise, features a fierce and unremitting heat wave that’s now well into its second month, a drought that’s ruined as much as a third of the vitally important grain crop and a wave of seemingly uncontrollable wildfires that have blanketed half of European Russia, including the capital Moscow, in a cloud of smoke.

Russia’s state meteorological service said smog conditions in Moscow have eased from a Saturday peak, but the Ministry of Emergency Services warned that Moscow-region fires have tripled size in the past week, spreading from 65 to 210 hectares. Meanwhile, an average of 700 people are dying per day in Moscow, double the average rate, which health officials blamed on the smog.

“Our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week in a speech published in English on the Kremlin’s website. “We need to learn our lessons from what has happened, and from the unprecedented heat wave that we have faced this summer.

Russia isn’t the only place where the extremes caused by climate change are in evidence. Yesterday, The New York Times offered a round-up:

The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.

Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.

The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.

“The climate is changing,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”

He described excessive heat, in particular, as “consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases.”

Theory suggests that a world warming up because of those gases will feature heavier rainstorms in summer, bigger snowstorms in winter, more intense droughts in at least some places and more record-breaking heat waves. Scientists and government reports say the statistical evidence shows that much of this is starting to happen.

Here in metropolitan D.C., in addition to a searing heat wave, we’ve enduring a summer of violent, freakish thunder storms that have downed trees, caused flooding and cost lives.

Do scientists have absolute proof the freakish weather has been caused by climate change? No. Does that theory best fit the facts? Yes.

520 comments Add your comment

Rafe Hollister

August 16th, 2010
11:28 am

Perfect excuse to not build the mosque at Ground Zero. Convince the Muslims that a 101st mosque in NYC is just overdoing it and in light of Climate Change, we just can’t justify emitting that much carbon by construction a needless victory memorial. I’m sure they are such good shepherds of mother earth that they will agree. You have to start somewhere or we are all doomed, doomed, I tell you. Right!

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
11:28 am

Cooling @ 11.19, what is there that you’ve presented that I’m supposed to debunk–this silly notion that a few stray examples you’ve been given by some Chamber-of-Commerce-sponsored right wing site somehow proves Cynthia wrong?

Global cooling was, as I said earlier, not the sort of thing that was driving American energy policy nor was it uppermost on many people’s minds. It was a Popular Science, geekish sort of issue.

As Cynthia correctly pointed out, people were not “screaming” about it.

Saul Good

August 16th, 2010
11:28 am

Top, why not entertain both? I mean the same crowd supports polluting AND thinks that Obama is from Kenya.

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
11:29 am

“proven”

Pluto

August 16th, 2010
11:29 am

@ Saul Good I think you should really go first. You will never be happy or willing to share the planet with the other 6.6 billion or so folks. Lead by example.

East point mob

August 16th, 2010
11:30 am

Saul Good,

You need some help in FACTS. Our air and water quality is substantially cleaner relative to what it was in the 70s or even the 50s and 60s. Any idiot knows that you can look at pics of cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, B-ham from the 50s or 60s and look at pics of those same cities today and see a huge decrease in overall smog. I guess you never let the facts get in the way of your argument. And any EPA scientist will tell you that because of stringest EPA regs since the 70s that air and water quality is the cleanest its been in decades. Just the facts sir. You are long on hyperbole and short on facts.

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Do you remember:

A river in Cleveland Ohio catching fire in 1969? People are now swimming and fishing in this same river, though with reservation.

Saul Good

August 16th, 2010
11:34 am

East Point…and WHY is the air cleaner or water cleaner NOW compared to 40 years ago? It’s because of environmental guards placed upon industries that were doing all of the polluting.

Yet you’re talking about OUR nation… Take a look at India and China (who have the world’s biggest populations) and you’ll see that their levels of pollution are many, many times higher compared with 20-30 years ago.

So YOUR answer lacks substance. Perhaps WE pollute less…but the WORLD is polluting MORE.

andygrd

August 16th, 2010
11:35 am

OFF TOPIC… but recent

Ms. Tucker, how about something nice to say about Tom Delay, you had vilified him in the past… and now….

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has ended its six-year criminal probe of the ties between former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff without filing any criminal charges against the former congressman.
One of DeLay’s lawyers, Richard Cullen, said Monday the Justice Department’s public integrity section informed DeLay’s legal team early last week that it was ending the investigation.
“Six years is a long time and I’m sure he wishes it had happened years ago,” Cullen said of the conclusion of the investigation of DeLay.
Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined to comment, which is normally the case when the department ends a criminal probe without filing charges.
Separately, DeLay has been indicted in Texas on charges of money laundering and conspiracy allegedly connected to 2002 state legislative elections. That case is pending.
Since 2002—and nothing in Texas…. Makes you wonder……

Saul Good

August 16th, 2010
11:35 am

Anyway…enjoy polluting today… I iz gots to get sum stuff and go is stimulate the economiees. Lata!

JackLeg

August 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Let me see if I can explain this in a way that a liberal can understand. Since the last is age we have been on a warming trend, when we get to the peak of warming, then we will start cooling. This has been going on since the beginning of time. See if you liberals can answer this question. During the reign of the dinosaurs the average temperature was 20 degrees hotter and 15 times the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, who was driving the SUV’s and running the power plants back then…..

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

Saul Good, Then it’s up to the USA to tell these countries that they must stop or we will……………?

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

East Point mob, your position is noted, but you’re not swaying any votes by citing “the founder of the Weather Channel”. I bet there are some who believe “the Weather Channel” is a hoax (for profit commercial venture, which answers to advertising dollars and not meteorology/science).

Reggie

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

Dear Saul- you may want to think about a wonderful phrase “timing issue”- the far right enyoyed their day in the sun for 8 years- the far left should enjoy another few months- grew too quickly and was scorched by the sun as the parable goes. I don’t care if Obama is as white as color of this blog and is desendant of George Washington- the chap couldn’t run a local Starbucks. The working (and currently non-working) middle class shall change all of this nonsense very soon.

Saul Good

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

Last thing East Point and TT… feel free to tell me about ALL of our industry that simply went OUT of business once pollution control was enacted and enforced by the EPA. Looks to me like our economy went up and down over the past 40 years…but it was NOT due to having companies add pollution control devices to their factories (or building new more efficient ones)…

granny's herniated groin

August 16th, 2010
11:37 am

It’s important to criticize those who attack science, and I’m happy to return the favor when anyone stoops to personally maligning scientists who are simply reporting their findings for our benefit. But it’s equally important, if not more so, to recognize those with the professional courage and intellectual honesty to publicly change their view in the face of new evidence.

Physicist Dr. Denis Rancourt, a former professor and environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa, has officially bailed out of the man-made global warming movement.

In a hard-hitting and exclusive new exclusive video just released by Climate Depot, Dr. Rancourt declares that the entire man-made global warming movement is nothing more than a “corrupt social phenomenon.” “It is as much psychological and social phenomenon as anything else.”

“I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized,” Rancourt said.

“Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass,” he stated.

See Dr. Rancourt’s astounding revelation at Climate Depot.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
11:39 am

Perfect excuse to not build the mosque at Ground Zero.

since others keep on attempting to distract with this issue, I’m going to re-post this from downstairs:

This ginned-up mosque controversy is possibly the single most loathsome piece of political theater the wingnuts have pulled in my memory.

I mean, at the least the Willie Horton ad wasn’t designed, specifically, to incite some asshat to violence. This is not going to end well, mark my words.

Again, I am having a hard time coming up with a more loathsome counter-example from my own memory.

Rafe Hollister

August 16th, 2010
11:39 am

BTW, did Ross Perot use his jets to patch over that Ozone hole that was going to kill us back in 1992. Remember we were all going to die because the hole was getting larger and larger. The UV radiation was going to cook us all, but Ross said he didn’t see why we couldn’t take a bunch of ozone emitting planes up there to the hole and fly around some. Many on the left were very concerned about that hole, but they didn’t vote for Ross, I am not sure why. Since Ross didn’t get elected, who fixed the hole?

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 16th, 2010
11:41 am

Latest reports are The Goron has began a new undertaking…The Colonization of Mars. After speaking about his new project at a college graduation ceremony and subsequently being boo’d off stage, The Goron could be heard muttering…”I’ll get them…I will get them all”

After taunting the audience and several failed attempt to retake the stage The Goron had to be escorted from the building.

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
11:42 am

Saul Good, I’m asking you what do we do with the countries that thumb their noses at us over pollution? Enacting controls in the US may make some of us feel good, but unless all countries do it it matters not. When you have hungry people, waste makes haste.

Rafe Hollister

August 16th, 2010
11:44 am

Stands: everyone kinda left it to NYC to resolve the mosque thing until Barrack Hussein Obama weighed in with his preferences. Kind of gave us all a reason to state our opinion. Now that he is backtracking, he is hoping to again make it a local issue. Couldn’t stand the heat or the damage to his party at election time.

pat

August 16th, 2010
11:49 am

Some people are so stupid, they think they can control the climate! It may be warming, but it has little to do with us.

Matti

August 16th, 2010
11:49 am

Top Priority,
..if the argument is for conservation, then I’m all in. But if it’s a knee jerk reaction to an oft debunked “global warming” hysteria, then I’m more of a sketpic.

TP, I’m a skeptic about a great many things as well. The absence of skepticism, IMO, equates to being a chump. I wish I could wonder why we don’t all just get on the same page about things we can and should agree upon, such as conservation, a cleaner, less toxic enviroment, and the economic benefit that would surely come with being a leader on “green jobs of the future” instead of holding on to the past while everyone else passes us.

But what I’m reading here shows me a narcissistic population more concerned with believing they’re right than doing what’s right for us, our children, and the future. Cut off the nose to spite the face, and what have you got? A whole lotta regret and nothing good to show for it. Just sayin’.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
11:50 am

Stands: everyone kinda left it to NYC to resolve the mosque thing until Barrack Hussein Obama weighed in with his preferences.

Is THAT what you’re claiming now? Seriously?

Is this “everyone” you’re speaking of including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and virtually every GOPee blowhard with access to a camera or mic or Twitter feed?

Boris Yeltsin's Liver

August 16th, 2010
11:50 am

Vodka will solve all of Mother Russia’s ills…..

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
11:51 am

Rafe, I don’t know that Obama expressed “his preference” so much as his legal/Constitutional opinion. he very well may have a “preference” and he very well may be a “Muslim mole” (as one poster suggested in July), but it’s kind of a moot point. I the first Amendment, generally accepted private property rights, and NYC real estate laws and building codes kind “govern” this, and not human emotion “victims families” a “slap in the face”) or the shameless political opportunism of non-New Yorkers. this is “cap n (no)trade” for jingos and xenophobes who do not “trust” the Founding Fathers.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Since Ross didn’t get elected, who fixed the hole?

Wiki’s entry on “Ozone depletion” does a pretty good job of telling the story, but in short, international agreements to curtail CFC (and other ozone-depleting chemical compounds) reversed potentially dangerous trends.

In short, it didn’t just get better on its own.

gotta run. Have fun, kids.

left wing

August 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Global cooling Global cooling was caused by the pollution of the ’60s & ’70s. If you’re old enough to remember, we used to have huge problems with ‘acid rain’ and smog so thick in LA that you couldn’t see the sky.

Why is this important? Because we were dumping so much particulate matter into the air, that sunlight was being reflected back into space. It wasn’t until we had solved the air quality problems, that we started to experience the global warming phenomenon.

Fang1944

August 16th, 2010
11:55 am

Bob
August 16th, 2010
8:20 am

No debate about climate change from the right. We know the climate has been in constant change throughout the history of the world. At one point the entire planet was covered in ice, think of what life would be without climate change. Cynthia, why is ice covered Greenland called Greenland ? Was it once green enough to possibly raise crops ? If so, maybe the optimum temps should be the higher ones that allowed the farming of what is now a sheet of ice.

——————

Somebody always has to bring up the recently invented myth that Greenland was nice and green when the Norse got there. According to:

Eirik the Red’s Saga.
The Saga of the Greenlanders
The Icelandic Book of Settlement.
Fitzhugh and Ward’s Vikings: the North Atlantic Saga

Greenland was covered with ice and snow when Mr. The Red got there in 983. There were two areas where there was pasturage for animals, but the Norse often fed their animals twigs and seaweed and kept them indoors 24 hours a day. Sometimes the people ate seaweed.

Mr. The Red named the placed Greenland because he knew that people wouldn’t want to come and settle in Freezingyourtailoffland.

Fang1944

August 16th, 2010
12:00 pm

“Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass,” he [Dr. Rancourt] stated.
—————-

So it’s imaginary that Beluga shipping line is running ships through the Arctic Circle these days?

It’s imaginary that the fire season is now year-round in the western US?

It’s imaginary the permafrost in Alaska isn’t perma anymore?

getalife

August 16th, 2010
12:01 pm

Thanks to the cons, we are losing major money for our economy with alternative energy products.

Presidents Clinton and Obama want a green energy bubble but the cons vote no. Even out of power, the cons still destroy our country.

Fang1944

August 16th, 2010
12:01 pm

Correcting my typos:

Somebody always has to bring up the recently invented myth that Greenland was nice and green when the Norse got there. According to:

Eirik the Red’s Saga.
The Saga of the Greenlanders
The Icelandic Book of Settlements.
Fitzhugh and Ward’s Vikings: the North Atlantic Saga

Greenland was covered with ice and snow when Mr. The Red got there in 983. There were two areas where there was pasturage for animals, but the Norse often fed their animals twigs and seaweed and kept them indoors 24 hours a day. Sometimes the people ate seaweed.

Mr. The Red named the place Greenland because he knew that people wouldn’t want to come and settle in Freezingyourtailoffland.

Rafe Hollister

August 16th, 2010
12:02 pm

Neo, before I go, let me refute your post. The government has no right to stop them based on the 1st Amendment, that I will grant you. The Constition should always be followed, however, the State and Federal Government always find “legal” ways to get their wishes. I give you the “Kelo Decision” where the Supreme Court dispossed those poor people with the ocean front property. IMO, the Government does not have that right under Eminent domain, the right to take from one citizen and give to another, but the courts have made that legal now. So, the State of New York could take that property and say it is not making enough Tax revenue as is and a mosque is tax exempt, so we are taking it and letting McDonalds have that piece of property.

If the KKK was planning a big corporate HQ’s there, you can bet your bippy that NYC or the State of NY would take some action. Pigs are squealinng gotta go feed em.

ken

August 16th, 2010
12:03 pm

Green people never seem to talk about cold air. Florida just had one of the coldest Winters ever. Not one peep. Two weeks in russia is not a trend. Go to Global Warming Hoax.com and follow the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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OBAMA WORST IN HISTORY

August 16th, 2010
12:09 pm

Maybe “Global Warming” will warm the Administration ass’s up and get them to take their head’s out of them!

barking frog

August 16th, 2010
12:11 pm

I fail to understand what climate-changers want or believe.
Should we stop producing electricity, stop burning anything,
produce no more chemicals. Go back to wind powered
ships, animal powered land transportation,no medicines, no
cleansers, no insecticides, no fertilizers, no plastics. Science
produced all the things that Science says are harmful. Sounds
like Democrats and Republicans. Just arguing over who gets
the bigger slice of the pie.

Rafe Hollister

August 16th, 2010
12:11 pm

Sin-thee change the heading to California Gov sees harsh effects of Global Cooling. Read last week where fruits and vegetables were not ripening properly due to the abnormally cool weather there. There, you have a new cut and paste blog.

getalife

August 16th, 2010
12:14 pm

Add the 20 million left homeless in the Pakistan flood. Doubt their government will survive.

I guess the fires did not hit Russia’s nuclear sites.

Hoghead

August 16th, 2010
12:14 pm

Who cares what the climate is. If you are out of working, and living hand to mouth, I would rather live in heat than live in cold. I guess that is why there are so many bums in the south, but very few in Montana, Minnesota and our northern neighbors.

Fang1944

August 16th, 2010
12:34 pm

T-Town
August 16th, 2010
10:52 am

In the middle ages, the consensus of most of the doctors at that time was that “blood letting” was the best thing for almost any illness. And during this time most of the people that called themselves scientists believed that the earth was flat. Since the majority of people believe this to be true, it must have been.

On a different note, in my younger days my mother told me that “spanking the monkey” will make you go blind. I can tell you my eye sight is very clear.

————————

Savants of the Middle Ages knew perfectly well that the world is round. Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference in the third century BC and was only off by about 1%. Not bad considering that his only instrument was a stick stuck in the ground. They also understood that “down” is toward the center of the Earth as you can see from reading Dante’s Inferno.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
12:35 pm

Stands for Decibels – “As Cynthia correctly pointed out, people were not “screaming” about it.”…Jesus, thats your defense of Cynthia being totally wrong? and that I made this up? You have seized on ONE word that I used….and the argument WAS contentious at the time. But ignore the fact she basically accused me of lying? Good God, if that is the sum total of your ability to see what I said and the point I was making, you are just one more intellectually dishonest liberal. If I said “loud and passionate” would that make you feel better?

Gator Joe

August 16th, 2010
12:36 pm

Cynthia,
You are ever the optimist. Predictable comments coming from the anti-science crowd. Join hands and pray scientists develop more efficient sunscreen.

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
12:41 pm

But ignore the fact she basically accused me of lying?

If the shoe fits….

Larry Jones

August 16th, 2010
12:42 pm

Nice to see the unhinged right-wing sycophants hating on science. Their daily diatribe against gays, muslims, blacks and illegals was getting stale.

sTv0

August 16th, 2010
12:48 pm

idiot #1 wrote:
“No less than Leonard Nimoy did an in search of… episode about the coming ice age circa 70’s, I watched it on the science channel not long ago. Time magazine did a cover story on the coming snowball earth. Monday, Jun. 24, 1974..google it folks, this sh*t ain’t hard.”

Perhaps harder than it looks, since you didn’t look up the scientific references from that period (early 70’s), which were overwhelmingly supporting a trend towards AGW. In fact, the references to another ice age were pointing to one happening in…wait for it…10,000 years.

Geez, you deniers make it so EASY sometimes…

Bill Campbell

August 16th, 2010
12:49 pm

Global Warming is a farce! July 2, 1863, the temperature at the Battle of Gettysburg was 103 degrees in Pa. Al Gore has made a fortune with his phony con!!

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
12:49 pm

“Even out of power, the cons still destroy our country.”

LMAO!!! If the Democrats have the majority, I’d say it’s the Democrats’ fault. nice try there pal

Reggie

August 16th, 2010
12:53 pm

Eric Pearson again with a hateful diatribe- “more intelligent and superior”-
Did I miss you at the last Mensa meeting?
Do you care to post say 20k for an independent iq “test off”?

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
12:53 pm

Kamchak…the shoe DIDN’t fit….or are you too damn lazy to use google and do some damn research if you dont believe the various links posted here in the last hour….”if the shoe fits’…what a lame response….