Note, this doesn’t show sea ice in the Arctic…
Posts tagged Russia.
Smuggled bear paws, arranged on the ground at the China-Russia border in Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on June 15, 2013. Two Russians were arrested for smuggling 213 bear paws into China at a China-Russia land border, according to the Chinese customs police’s recent announcement. Bear paws reportedly are believed by some people in China to have high nutritional value.(Reuters/Stringer)
(via Big Picture)
Should the radioactive forests preemptively be cut down?
For 26 years, forests around Chernobyl have been absorbing radioactive elements but a fire would send them skyward again – a concern as summers grow longer, hotter and drier.
Combined with changes in climate, these overcrowded pines are a prescription for wildfire. In their assessment of the potential risks of a worst-case fire, Zibtsev and the team of international scientists concluded that much of the Chernobyl forest is “in high danger of burning.”
MOSCOW (AP) — A perfectly preserved woolly mammoth carcass with liquid blood has been found on a remote Arctic island, fueling hopes of cloning the Ice Age animal, Russian scientists said Thursday.
The carcass was in such good shape because its lower part was stuck in pure ice, said Semyon Grigoryev, the head of the Mammoth Museum, who led the expedition into the Lyakhovsky Islands off the Siberian coast.
"The blood is very dark, it was found in ice cavities bellow the belly and when we broke these cavities with a poll pick, the blood came running out," he said in a statement released by the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, which sent the team.
Wooly mammoths are thought to have died out around 10,000 years ago, although scientists think small groups of them lived longer in Alaska and on islands off Siberia.Scientists have deciphered much of the woolly mammoth’s genetic code from their hair, and some believe it’s possible to clone them if living cells are found Grigoryev said the find could provide the necessary material. The blood of mammoths appeared not to freeze in extreme temperatures, likely keeping mammoths warm, he said.The temperature at the time of excavation was -7 to - 10 degrees Celsius (14 to 19 degrees Fahrenheit.)
The researchers collected the samples of the animal’s blood in tubes with a special preservative agent. They were sent to Yakutsk for bacterial examination in order to spot potentially dangerous infections.The carcass’ muscle tissue was also in perfect condition.
"The fragments of muscle tissues, which we’ve found out of the body, have a natural red color of fresh meat," Grigoryev said.Up to 4 meters (13 feet) in height and 10 tons in weight, mammoths roamed across huge areas between Great Britain and North America and were driven to extinction by humans and the changing climate.
RUSSIA has ordered the urgent evacuation of the 16-strong crew of a drifting Arctic research station after the ice floe that hosts the floating laboratory began to disintegrate.
The station is currently home to 16 personnel including oceanologists, meteorologists, engineers and a doctor.
It conducts meteorological research, monitors environmental pollution and conducts a number of tests.
If the situation is not addressed, it may also result in the loss of equipment and contaminate the environment near Canada’s economic zone where the station is currently located, the ministry added.
The floating research laboratory will be relocated to Bolshevik Island in the Russian Arctic with the help of an ice-breaker.
"The ice floe has crumbled into six pieces," said Arkady Soshnikov, spokesman for the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. "The people are not at risk but it is not possible to work in these conditions. The ice may disintegrate so a decision has been taken to evacuate" the station, he told AFP.
Scientists point to increasing signs of global warming in the Arctic, which is being significantly affected by climate change.
The UN weather agency said this month the Arctic’s sea ice melted at a record pace in 2012, the ninth-hottest year on record.
Photo: Sergey Gorshkov
It’s It was a walrus.
A primer on ocean acidification. What it is. How it works. And its impacts on the ocean. From the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme.
AMAP is one of five Working Groups of the Arctic Council.
The primary function of AMAP is to advise the governments of the eight Arctic countries (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) on matters relating to threats to the Arctic region from pollution, and associated issues.
Boy it’s dusty around here…
Enormous grassland fires in Siberia/Mongolia this morning.
The Boston Bomber Brothers are from Chechnya (Update. NYTimes has more on where they’re from here.). So, where is Chechnya? The above maps zoom in to Chechnya and its small capital of Grozny.
Located in southeastern Europe, Chechnya is technically part of Russia. It’s war torn and in rough shape. It’s rich in oil and minerals, has a population of about 1 million people, and is an important crossroads between the Middle East, Russia, and Europe.
- Extreme poverty, corruption, and high unemployment due to its long history of war, here. The country is in shambles.
- Capital city: Grozny. Population 270,000
- Grozny is spliced by the Terek River
- Languages: Russian and Chechen
- Major religions: Mostly Sunni Muslim, second is Christianity
- Conquered by Russia in 1858, it was originally held by a Imam Shamil who tried to establish an Islamic state.
- Chechnya has been fighting with Russia for independence for nearly 200 years
- It is part of the Northern Caucuses, which refers to the collection of Russian states along the major mountain called the Caucuses. More on the Caucus region, here.
There is very little climate change research in the region. But, the area is vulnerable to water shortages, drought, agricultural mismanagement, and heavy pollution. More on the climate angle, here.
Video of a water main break in Russia. The explosion sends asphalt into the air to rain down on parked cars and pedestrians.
Aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance are the bane of cities around the world - especially America. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United State’s bridges, dams, airports, drinking water, roads, and schools a D+ in a recent report. Embarrassing? Absolutely. But cities are struggling to deal with an aging population and a lowered tax base. Schools, libraries, and park services are being cut (and gutted) all around the country. This means that cities are less likely to invest or fix problems with infrastructure, such as water supply. They can only react and look to the Feds for emergency cash. This mess we’re in will harm citizens in the long-term.
Bid to ban international trade of Polar Bear parts fails
Today delegates at the CITES meeting in Thailand rejected the proposal to protect polar bears from the commercial trade of their body parts. The proposal was put forward by the US with support from Russia but was opposed by Canada, the only country to allow the exporting of polar bear parts.
Unfortunately the proposal failed to win the two-thirds needed to pass. The results ended with 38 countries voting in favour of the US proposal, 42 against and 46 refrained.
“Limiting commercial trade in this species would have addressed a source of non-climate stress to polar bear populations and contributed to long-term recovery,” said the statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Each year, an average of 3,200 items made from polar bears - including skins, claws and teeth - are reported to be exported or re-exported from a range of countries. Polar bear hides sell for an average of $2,000 to $5,000, while maximum hide prices have topped $12,000.”
The rejection of the proposal means that the export of polar bear skins, teeth and paws from Canada will continue.
[Photo credit: Martin Lopatka]
In a confusing Press Release, the United Nations urges countries to protect AND develop the Arctic as glaciers and ice melt. On the one hand, the PR urges stronger legal and environmental regulations. On the other, it urges northern countries to cooperate as they exploit the Arctic’s vast resources of oil, gas, minerals, and fish: “the Arctic Council …is formed by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US has a crucial role to play in ensuring any resource exploitation is done responsibly.”
Confused? Yeah, me too…
Asteroid “2012 DA14” safely passed by Earth late Friday. NASA feed via NYTimes’s Andrew Revkin.
Interview With An Astrophysicist: “There Are No Plans to Save People From Asteroids. It’s a Waste of Money.”
GQ: What if there’s another one?! What are you going to do to save us?
Astrophysicist: Eh, there’s no plans to save people from asteroids. It’s a waste of money.
Astrophysicist: Yeah, mostly.
GQ: So we’re all left alone?
Astrophysicist:Global warming is a bigger deal. Worry about that.