Voices from Russia

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Climate Change: 80,000 Reindeer Starve to Death as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

00-russia-reindeer-arctic-171116

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In 2006 and 2013, tens of thousands of reindeer died because of global warming caused by human-influenced climate change in the polar regions of Russia. If similar meteorological effects take place this year, Russia’s reindeer industry will face catastrophe. Reindeer, Russia’s cattle of the Arctic regions, suffered terrible losses in 2006 and 2013, as thick ice covered snow due to effects of global warming. Over 80,000 animals died during the period, a repeat could be a tragedy for the 270,000-animal population. In the autumn of 2006 and 2013, sea ice began to melt instead of building up as it normally does at that time of the year, leading to a high level of water evaporation, forming large storm systems over the shore. Then, winds moved the clouds south, where indigenous herders were moving their reindeer. According to Bruce Forbes at the University of Lapland (Rovaniemi FINLAND), resulting rains covered the snow with a thick layer of ice that became unbreakable for the animals when temperatures plunged to —40 degrees. He said:

Reindeer are used to sporadic ice cover, and adult males can normally smash through ice around 2 centimetres thick, but in 2006 and 2013, the ice was several tens of centimetres thick.

This year, the sea-ice cover was the second-lowest on record in the Arctic, and there is fear of another famine. Forbes commented:

If we see such events again this year, it could mean that they’re becoming more frequent. Now is the risk window, and if it happens again, it will be a major problem for traditional reindeer herders still suffering from losses in 2013.

This year, a famine would be especially damaging as authorities scheduled a massive cull to cope with an anthrax outbreak amongst reindeer. Anthrax, a bacterial infection that quickly spreads among animals, can spread to humans. Recently, at least one child died and 90 people went to hospital in the region due to the deadly disease, causing state authorities to order emergency culling and vaccination of reindeer herds.

17 November 2016

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201611171047524973-climate-change-reindeers-famine-russia/

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

18 May 2016. It Could Only Happen in the Rodina, Kids… It Snowed on Monday in Noyabrsk

00 russia. snow. noyabrsk 180516

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This was Monday in Noyabrsk, the largest city in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in the Russian Far North. It’s a fairly large place of 100,000; it’s main raison d’être is that it’s the main centre of the West Siberian oil and gas fields. It’s a fairly new city, only being founded in 1977… it’s a bustling place despite the climate…

BMD

Sunday, 6 December 2015

6 December 2015. The Polar Sunset in Murmansk… Sunrise Won’t Be Until 12 January

00 polar sunset in Murmansk 061215

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The Polar Night lasts for 41 unbroken days in Murmansk in the Far North… it started on 2 December… it’ll end on 12 January. That is, it’ll be dark for New Year’s and Christmas, and the sun will only rise again a week before Epiphany. At least, here in Upstate New York, we have light from 08.00 to 16.00 at the solstice. That ain’t much, but it’s much better than Murmansk has, which is NOTHING.

DARK! For 41 whole days… no wonder the Russians invented vodka… now, that’s an “All-Nighter”…

BMD

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Cons Use Cats to Smuggle In Mobiles at Russian Prison in the Komi Republic

00 Cat. Prison. Russia. Komi Republic. 12.06

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Frequently, inmates in Russian prisons bribe guards to obtain mobile phones. However, what about using cats as couriers? Guards patrolling a prison colony in the Russian North saw a feline on a fence… it seemed to be carrying something. Taking a closer look, they found a few mobile phones and chargers taped to the cat’s belly. On Monday, the RF Federal Prison Service reported that this happened on Friday at Penal Colony No. 1 near Syktyvkar in the Komi Republic, 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) northeast of Moscow. It wasn’t clear how the cat was supposed to drop off its loot.

4 June 2013

Associated Press

As quoted in the Albany (NY) Times-Union

http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Cat-detained-on-illegal-mission-at-Russian-prison-4572138.php

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