Challenges of the Changing Climate: A Case Study of Russia
Russia is facing climatic changes that are more pronounced than in many other parts of the world. While such changes have already led to environmental and socio-economical impacts, it is still debatable whether climate change should become a matter of concern for the policymakers, business society, and population in Russia, and whether development of the climate adaptation policies should be given high priority. The problem is complicated by distinct differences in recent climate changes across the country, and by the absence of societal preparedness to dedicated efforts to combat potentially detrimental consequences of the changing climate. Impacts from climate change differ by region across Russia and range from damage to infrastructure built upon thawing permafrost in the Russian North, flooding from unusually heavy rains, to potential benefits in some regions, such as reductions in the heating energy demand, better conditions for agriculture, an increase in the water resources of great Siberian rivers and a more navigable Northern sea route. However, despite key regional concerns associated with climate change, regional adaptation policies are yet to be developed.