Thursday 28 April 2016

Climate change reflected (and not reflected) in Russian media

This is what seems to be happening right across Siberia, as reflected in High Noon in Siberia

This was reflected by the following report from the Laptev Sea

April 27, 2016 weather report for

Weather report as of 11630 minutes ago (07:30 UTC):
The wind was blowing at a speed of 4 meters per second (8.9 miles per hour) from North/Northeast in Tiski, Russia. The temperature was 15 degrees Celsius (59degrees Fahrenheit). Air pressure was 1,013 hPa (29.91inHg). Relative humidity was 77.0%. There were broken clouds at a height of 732 meters (2400 feet) and overcast at a height of 3962 meters (13000 feet). The visibility was >11.3 kilometers (>7 miles). Current weather is 

There is,of course, NO reflection of this in media in general, but particularly in Russia.

This following piece appeared prominently on RT. 

It is meant to showpiece RT's technical expertise as well as Russia's military prowess.

It also reinforces the obviously false impression that the Arctic ice is in fine fettle and reinforces RT's tendency to push climate change denial as part of its narrative.

RT’s climate change denying propaganda

First-ever 360 video of Russia’s amazing drifting Arctic base

© Valeriy Melnikov
© Valeriy Melnikov / Sputnik

In an annual feat of engineering and bravery, each spring Russian explorers and scientists set up a base on a floating ice mass near the North Pole. And RT is the first to transmit back panoramic footage from one of the most unique places on the planet.

To set up a base in such hostile conditions, a flat and sturdy ice surface is scouted by helicopters. The site is then cleared and serves as a landing strip for cargo planes, around which the camp is built.

Called Barneo, it is a starting point for Polar trips, extreme sports competitions, and deep-ice and weather experiments.

From this year, it is also the site for a month-long drill for elite paratroopers from Russia and Belarus.

Early next month, after less than six weeks of operations, the camp will be dismantled, only to be rebuilt in a new location next year.

Siberia, of course is closer to nature than the editorial room in Moscow so the Siberian Times is the one English-language publication that features climate-related stories.

I am less sure of the situation in the Russian-language media but have a hunch that it is even worse.

I had a brief check on Yandex looking under climate change and Siberia – to find a real dearth of material.

If you want to use Google Transate here is an article from Wikipedia, Глобальное потепление (global warming)

Spring is in the air as migrating birds flock EARLY to Siberia

'Global warming' behind major change in arrivals from Omsk to Pacific.

'Typically, the first arrival of the swans is recorded in mid-March. This year they appeared a week earlier than usual.' Picture: Armen Zakh

Ornithologists across Siberia have registered record early arrivals for many species of birds as they fly north from wintering in warmer climates. In the Russian Far East, swans returned to the Sea of Okhotsk a full week earlier than usual.

Two birds-'scouts' were spotted in Salmon Cove on 8 March, before flying back to Hokkaido in Japan, but very returning with more birds. Ornithologist Andrew Zdorikov said 25 swans were seen in the cove by 19-20 March. These are the advance guard of up to 35,000 swans. 

'Typically, the first arrival of the swans is recorded in mid-March. This year they appeared a week earlier than usual, due to global warming, and a warm winter with little snow.'
Sakhalin swans

Sakhalin swans

Sakhalin swans
Ornithologist Andrew Zdorikov said 25 swans were seen in the cove by 19-20 March. These are the advance guard of up to 35,000 swans. Pictures:,  AKS

The pattern is repeated in many places. In Novosibirsk region, migratory birds are arriving for their breeding season 10 to 12 days ahead of normal dates. Alexey Yanovsky, a research fellow in the Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, said: 'Because of the warm spring, they rushed to our region. 

'If it suddenly becomes cold, they can fly away to the Kazakhstan for a while. A kite was spotted on Wednesday [March 30] by my colleagues, and on Thursday I saw it myself. Usually they arrive in mid-April, but in recent years tend to arrive earlier and earlier.' Herring gulls were also seen arriving unexpectedly early. 

In neighbouring Omsk, where a huge increase in sunshine was recorded in March, rooks were recorded on 9 March in some districts. By 13 March they were visible throughout the west Siberian region. The first whooper swans appeared near the village Orekhovo in Odessky region on 14 March. 
Siberian birds

Siberian birds

Siberian birds
Early guests spotted in Siberia: Great White Egret, gull and rook. Pictures: Siberian Birdwatching Community

The next day they were spotted in Stepnoy Nature Reserve. Close behind them appeared starlings. Leading ornithologist, Professor Sergey Soloviov, of Omsk State University, commented: 'Normally starlings in our region appear in the last ten days of March and sometimes even in early April. 

'The early return of birds suggests that the process of global warming is ongoing. Birds feel the warm wave and lengthening of daylight hours, they cannot be fooled.'

In March, Omsk weather station recorded 185 hours of sunshine. This is 61 hours more than average levels. In mountainous southern Siberia, bird-watcher Andrey Ebel, from Barnaul, said: 'This year many migratory birds appeared in Altai region much earlier than usual. 

'First, as usual, came flocks of rooks and jackdaws. They were spotted in the southwest back in late February. Behind them at the beginning of March, there were wild pigeons. These three species 'open' the spring migration.  
Siberian birds

Siberian birds

Siberian birds
Starlings, grey eglets and black headed gulls spotted in Siberia much earlier this yera. Pictures: Siberian Birdwatching Community

'The first starlings were spotted on 11 March and three days later they were observed almost everywhere in the region. Large Barabinsk gulls appeared on 15 March and a day later the first finches were observed in Barnaul.

'On 18 March began the arrival of black kites, on 19 March - gray herons, while on the same day the first group of geese was spotted in the south-west of region. On March 20 field larks began to sing and they flew to the north-east. On March 23 near nesting sites were spotted Red Imperial eagles and the first black-headed gull.'

This 'wave' now includes linnets, gulls, reed buntings, snipe, and great egrets. 'To date we have noted 20 species of birds arriving with us from warmer places,' he said. 

Barnaul ornithologist Nadezhda Irisova said starlings, finches, larks usually arrive in late March - early April. The rooks come usually on 18-19 March. The gulls normally appear by 10-15  April. 

Bugapocalypse swarms are attacking towns and cities from Novosibirsk to Barnaul.

This is the real hero of Russia, together with her husband, Igor Semiletov

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