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Global warming hitting Russia much harder than rest of world, experts warn, with temperatures rising faster than global average

Global warming hitting Russia much harder than rest of world, experts warn, with temperatures rising faster than global average
The average temperature in Russia has risen by 0.51C in just ten years, compared to the global average of 0.18C. That's according to the head of Moscow’s Geophysical Observatory, who spoke of huge consequences for the country.

Speaking to news agency RIA Novosti, Vladimir Kattsov noted that the rapid acceleration of climate change will lead to the degradation of permafrost and reduction of sea ice in the Arctic, with Russia's infrastructure being particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures.

“No one has ruled out that the record changes may be part of their own climate fluctuations, but there is a high probability that these trends will hold or even increase,” he said.

Kattsov works as the director of the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory of Roshydromet, Russia's federal agency for hydrometeorology.

The scientist also said that Russia may face an influx of migrants from the south, as those living in hotter climates decide to move northwards, where the temperatures are more bearable.

In March, Alexey Kokorin, the director of WWF Russia's climate and energy program, also noted that the rate of warming in Russia is accelerating faster than the global rate and shows no sign of stopping.

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“With a probability of close to 100%, the trend of rising temperatures caused by man's intensification of the greenhouse effect will continue,” he said.

Climate change has become a major concern for Russia, and in recent years President Vladimir Putin, who was once accused of being skeptical on the subject, has begun more frequently commenting on the potential changes for the country. In October, speaking to the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin highlighted how global warming could adversely affect Russia's infrastructure, as 65% of the country's territory is made up of permafrost, and any drastic change could have disastrous consequences for the economy.

“It affects pipeline systems, residential districts built on permafrost, and so on,” Putin explained. “If as much as 25% of the near-surface layers of permafrost, which is about three or four meters, melt by 2100, we will feel the effect very strongly.”

Last year, Alexander Krutikov, the deputy minister of the Far East and the Arctic, claimed that climate change will cost Russia nine trillion rubles ($116bn) due to damage to buildings and infrastructure.

Later that year, an article published in the New York Times dubbed Russia as the country best positioned to “capitalize on climate change,” noting that melting permafrost would open up much more land for farming – something that could be of great benefit to the economy.

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