Sasha lives on the tundra in the northernmost part of Barents Russia. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
Siberia and Arctic Russia will continue to be most affected by global warming, reads a forecast from Russia’s emergency ministry Emercom. For Sasha, the warming can change his traditional way of life. The nomadic Nenets people on the tundra east of Naryan-Mar depend on the frozen tundra to live with their reindeer.
Depending on the seasons, the Sasha’s family moves around where the reindeer easiest find lichen. Scientists fear the accelerating global warming can trigger melting permafrost that in turn will release long-stored greenhouse gases bringing along even greater warming. Without permafrost, Sasha and his generation of Nenets reindeer herders can forget a nomadic life on the Russian tundra.
Not so bright future for the coming generation of nomadic Nenets on the Russian tundra. How to pull the sledge when the tundra melts? Photo: Thomas Nilsen
The extent of Arctic sea ice in the northern part of the Barents Region is exceptionally delayed this winter. Most visible are the waters along the coast of Nenets and northern Arkhangelsk Oblast. Earlier in January, BarentsObserver published a NASA sea ice map showing this winter’s dramatic reality compared with median extent for the period 1979-2000.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.