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

Q-bert

August 16th, 2010
3:09 pm

God is watching you!

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:10 pm

Peter

Welcome to America. We built the Greatest Country in the world. Do you think we did it by giving it to the poor?

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:11 pm

MNDL,

Don’t handle snakes. Cut off their heads. Get the difference? I doubt it!

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:13 pm

Peter
August 16th, 2010
2:55 pm

Hey…..I’m here from the government and I’m here to help …….

I am so glad Bush got us into the Iraq mess, he really knew how to rip off America !

We should be proud of how badly he and Cheney screwed America…Hats off to Republican’s !
______________________________________________________________

Peter,

Here in America the CONGRESS OVERWHELMINGLY voted to go to war with IRAQ. Get you facts straight, stop drinking the kook-aid, then we can talk.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
3:14 pm

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
3:15 pm

tick….tick….tick…..

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:15 pm

MNGL,

Is your comprehension a daily problem?

Tommy Maddox

August 16th, 2010
3:16 pm

So the Russians and the NYT are opining in unison? There’s a surprise.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:17 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:11 pm

Why do I suspect you really mean bite their heads off?

As in the Merriam Webster definition of geek.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:17 pm

KamKam,

Care to talk about today’s events or are you still living in the past?

Please don’t use the “S” word, as I just got some. Not sure I can get it back up that fast. But I’ll try! :)

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

I’m here from the
government and
I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:13 pm

of course Congress got lied to also…..

Ponch

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

Free Larry Wilcox

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:13 pm

I comprehend you well enough me bucko!

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

MNGL,

Could be because you haven’t had your MEDS today?

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:20 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:17 pm

and the poor goat is getting shots as we speak

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:20 pm

MNGL,

Welcome to my hook! When Obama lies, your happy, right?

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:20 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

You’re momma’s late with the delivery again

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:21 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

make that your momma….

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:22 pm

MNGL,

Leave my goat out of it. :) It’s my goat, get your own. BTW, bucko? What’s a bucko?

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
3:22 pm

Please don’t use the “S” word, as I just got some.

Commie…Commie…Commie…I went to bat for you next door at JB’s and this is how you show your gratitude?

I’m crushed.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:23 pm

granny godzilla
August 16th, 2010
3:21 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

make that your momma….
___________________________________________

MNGL,

Did you come up with that one all by yourself? Is a bucko the same as a sport?

Bosch

August 16th, 2010
3:24 pm

stands,

What the hell is “Muslim” food?

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:25 pm

KAMKAM,

Did you hit it out of the park? Or at least get a single, double?

J. Kase

August 16th, 2010
3:25 pm

Granny….I’m here;

Do you two want to be alone. When I liked someone in elementary school, we antagonized each other just like you two. It meant we kinda like each other.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:26 pm

Bosch
August 16th, 2010
3:24 pm

stands,

What the hell is “Muslim” food?

It ain’t PIG! :)

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:27 pm

I love my MNGL, I think everybody should own, I mean have one! :)

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:28 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:20 pm

You’re more Peter Pan than Hook

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
3:28 pm

granny,

thats not funny. Besides, sodomy is illegal in many states, do you expect people to follow laws that go against laws that go against their pursuit of happiness, infringe upon their civil rights and privacy?
You’re argument is bigoted and you are one sided in who you show contempt for.

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
3:29 pm

Did you hit it out of the park? Or at least get a single, double?

Since I argued that Grand Forks wasn’t LA/Who Dat, I would have to admit I struck out.

Allahu Akbar

August 16th, 2010
3:31 pm

Resistance is futile…

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:32 pm

I’m here from
the government
and I’m here to help

August 16th, 2010
3:27 pm

you have the ability to love?

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:33 pm

Snake Handler
Who’s here from
the government and
who’s here to help

3:28

I would also suggest you soak your fingers in Dales’ for 20 minutes first

J. Kase

August 16th, 2010
3:35 pm

Ah, the children are so cute when they’re young and in love.

granny's herniated groin

August 16th, 2010
3:35 pm

Stu Ostro of The NOAA’s Weather Channel? The Weather Channel, proud, national partner with Classroom Earth?

Climate data from NOAA and NASA were found to have been deceptively manipulated.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
3:38 pm

What the hell is “Muslim” food?

Bosch, seriously?

I’m no expert nor am I observant, but from what I gather, observant Muslims follow Halal dietary laws. Rather similarly to Jewish Kosher dietary practices, and in fact any food that is Kosher is by definition Halal, although it doesn’t work the other way (for instance, I don’t think Halal requires separation of meat and dairy prep/serving vessels.)

Anyone who knows better, feel free to correct…

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
3:39 pm

I don’t need to look at any links, as I was in my mid 20’s during the years 1978-1981, sport.

What you describe as “all the screaming from the left,” was barely a blip on the radar.

Wow, how condescending,….as usual from liberals….and whether it was a blip or not is your
opinion….”blips” dont normally make the cover of Time…or did you miss that post?

Sup wid dat

August 16th, 2010
3:39 pm

“Our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week ”

So… every 50 or 100 years it gets this warm… Call me crazy, but should global warming cause a year over year increase in temp – every year? Try to sell this global warming to So Cal (cold as hell this year) and parts of Europe which are still thawing out from the coldest winter on record.

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
3:41 pm

Don’t know if everyone’s heard, but he mosque in NY city is planning on having the opening ceremonies on 9/11/2011. What a load of shyt.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
3:42 pm

and for the record “sport”, I was in my 20’s also…..

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
3:43 pm

“What the hell is “Muslim” food?”

Here’s your sign Bosch.

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
3:43 pm

granny,

you are clearly a bigot.

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
3:44 pm

….”blips” dont normally make the cover of Time…

Lots of things make the cover of Time magazine, sport. That does not equate to, “all the screaming from the left.”

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
3:46 pm

Have been told that it isn’t a mosque, but a muslin community center. Not sure what that means, but I believe they have the right to build it anywhere they want…..but, why put it there? IMO, it’s like stopping your vehicle with a beer in your hand to ask a police officer directions. My question is why would you bring attention to yourself over this?

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:48 pm

Snake Handler
Who’s here from
the government and
who’s here to help

3:43

Don’t tell the Norwegians, they don’t know.

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
3:49 pm

Muslim, not muslin.

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
3:49 pm

This is not “here from the government.” I’m a devout pentacostal and I’m amazed at your level of bigotry toward my spritual and religious beliefs and practices.

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
3:50 pm

Peadawg, do you really believe the Cordoba center is scheduled to open on 9/11/2011?

really?

ok, I’ll ask–where did you hear this?

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
3:50 pm

I agree T-Town. The argument isn’t about rights…they have the right to do build it anywhere. It just seems really…wrong(for a lack of a better word).

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
3:51 pm

it isn’t a mosque, but a muslin community center. Not sure what that means

Think “YMCA.”

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:52 pm

J. Kase

if your theory is accurate Sarah Palin is soooo hot for Barack Obama!