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

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
3:53 pm

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

and I am St. Bernadette

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
3:53 pm

again condescension….grow up and just debate your point, please….

stands for decibels

August 16th, 2010
3:54 pm

actually, why not just check out their website?

from www. park51. org

Park51 will grow into a world-class community center, planned to include the following facilities:

* outstanding recreation spaces and fitness facilities (swimming pool, gym, basketball court)
* a 500-seat auditorium
* a restaurant and culinary school
* cultural amenities including exhibitions
* education programs
* a library, reading room and art studios
* childcare services
* a mosque, intended to be run separately from Park51 but open to and accessible to all members, visitors and our New York community
* a September 11th memorial and quiet contemplation space, open to all

J. Kase

August 16th, 2010
3:54 pm

Granny,

Do be careful, I’ve seen funnier things happen. But wouldn’t that be like the Hatfield and the McCoys getting it on?

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
3:54 pm

“ok, I’ll ask–where did you hear this?”

It’s called google. Try it out. I heard it on the radio so I googled to be sure, “cordoba center opening on 9/11/2011″.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
3:55 pm

peadawg, they have now changed that, last I heard, to be “breaking ground on”…but you are right, that was the hoped for opening date originally….

another Obama Tap Dance

August 16th, 2010
3:56 pm

How will all the Libs survive so-called “Global Warming” in their Burhka’?

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
3:57 pm

“peadawg, they have now changed that, last I heard, to be “breaking ground on”…but you are right, that was the hoped for opening date originally….”

Thanks for the update. “breaking ground on”, “opening ceremony”, etc……why pick this specific day?

ronald

August 16th, 2010
4:00 pm

Cynthia- Please write a blog about the woman who was stoned to death this weekend by the Taliban. I think since you’ve defended the Muslim’s right to build a mosque near the WTC site, that it would “fair” for you to highlight the brutal nature that the Muslim world inflicts upon women.

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:01 pm

Granny,

you are a bigot

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
4:01 pm

SFD; If it was just a YMCA, this conversation wouldn’t be occurring. I’ve learned that one shouldn’t mess with a hornet’s nest if one doesn’t want to be stung….even it it’s perfectly legal.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:04 pm

The point kamchak, is nothing I said was untrue…but you know that. CT said she remembered no debate about this point and that she thought I made it up. I didn’t. It was a real debate at the time. Just because you were floating in your 20’s and this didn’t make an impression on you does not change the fact that it was a pretty serious debate discussed by all the major media of the day. You can parse my words to your little heart’s desire, but it doesn’t change the focus or the content of the point I made. If I have to make it clear to you (and obviously you need clarification since you cant get past the word “screaming”, which is my impression ((not FACT, my impression)) of what liberals do to get their point across) is that through the 20th and now the 21st century, we have debated global warming, then global cooling, then global warming, etc.

I'm Here From The Government and I'm Here To Help

August 16th, 2010
4:04 pm

MNGL,

Always nice to hear your point of view. Reinterates why I vote!

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
4:05 pm

The Taliban stoned a woman to death at the WTC site for adultery?

Peadawg

August 16th, 2010
4:06 pm

“The Taliban stoned a woman to death at the WTC site for adultery?”

Here’s your sign.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:07 pm

Who knows their reasoning….I agree they have the RIGHT under our constitution….but it is pretty inflammatory to do this….and they know that. So, my friends on the left….do you buy their argument that they are doing this for healing? I heard reported that one of the tenets of Islam is to build mosques at the site of great victories….but I havent heard anyone that was an Islamic scholar states this…but I am curious….

neo-Carlinist

August 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

Snake Handler, if you truly are, you need to “forgive” Granny for her bigtory and move on. Personally, I prefer the term “Snake Juggler” – it offer more of a carny-barker/circus feel to me. And don’t go resting on your laurels, John Denver was a commited and dare I say; “devout” pilot, until the moment crashed into the Pacific Ocean and died.

I'm Here From The Government and I'm Here To Help

August 16th, 2010
4:08 pm

In a bid to attract a younger audience, Cox radio has decided to simulcast its news/talk station 750/WSB-AM at 95.5 on the FM dial starting at noon today.

What was the name of that station that’s going to carry Liberal views? I want to see how strong their signal is? I’m guessing about a half a mile but I could be overstating it.

ken R

August 16th, 2010
4:10 pm

Again, for the third time, 32,000 Scientists signed a petition that there is no Global Warming proof, the Liberal dummies can either believe a handful of politicans and 6 Journalists or 32,000 Scientists.

Just another cut & paste crappy article.

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
4:11 pm

The point kamchak, is nothing I said was untrue…

Except the whole “screaming” thing…which is exactly the point that our hostess called you on.

Hyperbolating (if Caribou Barbie can make up words, so can I) like a 13-year old girl really doesn’t help your case about being a 50 something year old.

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:12 pm

Pogo

August 16th, 2010
4:12 pm

What is at the core of this “climate change” or “global warming” crap is basically this; the progressives, the socialists and the communists want more than anything for the capitalism to fail. Afterall, capitalism is built upon the premise that if people work hard and they rely upon themselves more than government, they will be rewarded. This is the priniciple that has made America great. But throughout recent world history (125 years) there has been a certain faction of people that didn’t want it this way. They did not want peoples shortcomings to prevent them from succeeding as much as the person with more skills, more drive and more common sense. They want everyone the same both socially and economically no matter how hard and how well the individual works. Cindy is like this. All progressives thrive on this idea.

Climate change is nothing more than a screen for wealth distribution on a national and worldwide basis in the neverending progressive search for equality. For those that critsize capitalism remember this; capitalism is what is allowing you to sit on your @$$ typing at a computer all day all nice and comfy in your air conditioned room with plenty of cheeze whiz and crackers to eat. Without capitalism, most of what we see here today wouldn’t be here. But I wouldn’t expect progressives to ever understand that.

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:12 pm

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:12 pm

Abrazos

August 16th, 2010
4:13 pm

Hey, I Googled “cordoba center opening on 9/11/2011″ and found some stuff. I also Googled “nutcases believe cordoba opening 9/11/2011″ and found some stuff. You can type ANYTHING into Google and run across SOMETHING, for Pete’s sake.

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:13 pm

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:13 pm

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
4:16 pm

You know Mr. Kamchak, talking TO someone instead down AT them will get you more friends at the sandbox. But being the “leg-humping sport” that I am, I’m sure my suggestion will go on deaf ears.

Sport spelled backwards is tropS

August 16th, 2010
4:18 pm

Enter your comments here

Sport spelled backwards is "tropS"

August 16th, 2010
4:19 pm

hey sport = trops yeh

yay, I did it again. Hello everybody, look at meeeee!

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
4:20 pm

Snake Handler
who claims he’s not
from the government
and nor here to help

How do you feel about the Cordoba Center?

Independent J

August 16th, 2010
4:21 pm

“Climate change” isnt that another word for “weather” and riddle me this? whats the earth temperature supposed to be, and how do you know this?

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
4:22 pm

You know Mr. Kamchak, talking TO someone instead down AT them will get you more friends at the sandbox.

I’ll make a note.

Williebkind

August 16th, 2010
4:22 pm

The professional left is angry with BHO. The professional left? Do you have to have a degree to be part of this cult?

Snake Handler

August 16th, 2010
4:24 pm

granny,

I believe in religious freedom i.e. the right to “handle” snakes as a faith rite. Therefore I believe it is legal for the cordoba center to be built.

you are a bigot

T-Town

August 16th, 2010
4:24 pm

“I’ll make a note.”

Thank you.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:24 pm

damn, you ARE dense….go reread CT’s comment. It wasn’t the screaming comment. SHE DIDNT BELIEVE THE DEBATE TOOK PLACE AT ALL. wow….I give you…you are REALLY to dense to respond to again

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:29 pm

thats ” I give up on you”…as in trying to be reasonable to you…

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:31 pm

markie mark, I remember the years between 1978 and 1981 pretty well, and I remember no “screaming” that “we were in global cooling.” I think you’re making that up. – CT’s comments this morning….do any other reasonable (quote, unquote) think that she was taking exception to my use of the word screaming, or discounting my entire comment that we had “global Cooling” debates in the late 70″s?

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:32 pm

reasonable “people”….sorry for the typo

Kamchak

August 16th, 2010
4:33 pm

damn, you ARE dense….go reread CT’s comment. It wasn’t the screaming comment.

Certainly

ctucker

August 16th, 2010
9:32 am

markie mark, I remember the years between 1978 and 1981 pretty well, and I remember no “screaming” that “we were in global cooling.” I think you’re making that up.

Yep, just as I remember.

That pesky word “screaming” that you are desperately trying to walk back from.

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

August 16th, 2010
4:36 pm

Snake Handler
August 16th, 2010
4:24 pm

granny,

I believe in religious freedom i.e. the right to “handle” snakes as a faith rite. Therefore I believe it is legal for the cordoba center to be built.
____________________________________________________

MNGL aka GG, this is not me. I have not nor will I ever change my name.
I’m here to help! :)

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
4:36 pm

Snake Handler
who claims he’s not
from the government
and nor here to help

sorry, you can call me a bigot all day long, snake handling
is bizarre and illegal in many states including GA…..

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:37 pm

Original post…and I havent walked away from anything I said…my memory and impression is the same…the left screams out their points when they are on a “mission”….and last time it was global cooling…

.remember all the screaming from the left between 1978 and 1981 that we were in globing cooling? All the press, Democrats,etc. were screaming at the conservatives that we were crazy and the world was going into an ice age…

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

August 16th, 2010
4:39 pm

MNGL,

But if it’s helps you sleep better believe whatever. You do believe in Obama, so that’s enough.

markie mark

August 16th, 2010
4:41 pm

and as bloggers did by simply doing some research, its easy to find articles on it….however, they didnt have 24 hour news cycles in those days….so nothing is as blown up as it is now. But if you refuse to look…..and rely on a 30 year + memory….then there you have the typical “it didnt happen because I say so” approach. good luck with that.

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
4:42 pm

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

August 16th, 2010
4:39 pm

as I said and I am St. Bernadette

[...] according several …Official: Russian disaster sign of global warmingThe Associated PressRussian government sees harsh evidence of global warmingAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Russian expert says abnormally hot summer – result of global [...]

thomas

August 16th, 2010
4:45 pm

granny godzilla

August 16th, 2010
4:36 pm

Many considered homosexuality to be the same as you described in your response at 4:36pm. Not me but a vast majority of americans felt this way less than 3 decades ago.

Why do you insult or demean every single thing you either do not agree with, do not understand or do not care about?

Are you simply that bitter or is it a cover-up for your vast insecurities?

sam

August 16th, 2010
4:49 pm

virtually all respectable scientists worldwide agree that the climate change we now experience is mainly caused by burning too much fossil fuel, and call for an immediate reduction in CO2 emissions by moving away from burning oil and coal to produce energy and replacing it with clean energy like wind and solar. Unfortunately, reducing fossil fuel consumption would hurt the oil and coal industry’s bottom line so they created these fake ‘think tanks’ that have been spreading lies and misinformation about global warming and trying to discredit the scientists. This industry also spends huge amounts of money to lobby and influence politicians not to move toward green energy. More and more people finally see through this deception…we need to wake up and demand clean energy now; we are way behind many other industrialized countries when it comes to sustainable energy production. All the profits made from oil and gas are not going to help us when crops fail due to drought, forests burn and thousands die in flooding.