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Posts tagged Siberia

Climate Change and Water Temperature of Lake Baikal, Russia

53.1N 107.6E

June 11th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Russia – June 10th, 2013

Lake Baikal, the world’s largest, oldest, and most biotically diverse lake, is responding strongly to climate change, according to recent analyses of water temperature and ice cover. By the end of this century, the climate of the Baikal region will be warmer and wetter, particularly in winter. As the climate changes, ice cover and transparency, water temperature, wind dynamics and mixing, and nutrient levels are the key abiotic variables that will shift, thus eliciting many biotic responses.

Among the abiotic variables, changes in ice cover will quite likely alter food-web structure and function most because of the diverse ways in which ice affects the lake’s dominant primary producers (endemic diatoms), the top predator (the world’s only freshwater seal), and other abiotic variables. Melting permafrost will probably exacerbate the effects of additional anthropogenic stressors (industrial pollution and cultural eutrophication) and could greatly affect ecosystem functioning (click here for more information).

Climate Change Affecting Ice and Food Chain of Lake Baikal, Russia

53.1N 107.6E

May 7th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes

Russia – May 7th, 2013

Siberia’s Lake Baikal (bottom left), the world’s largest and most biologically diverse lake, faces the prospect of severe ecological disruption as a result of climate change. Scientists have reported that the most pressing threat comes from the dependence of the lake’s food chain on microscopic algae.

Lake Baikal’s algae are particularly vulnerable to expected reductions in the length of time the lake is frozen each winter. However, the lake’s climate has become measurably milder over recent decades, and that annual precipitation is expected to increase. The average ice depth in the lake is believed to have decreased in recent decades, and the ice-free season to have increased. Changes in the lake’s food-chain composition have also been noted.

 

Thick Plumes and Cloud of Smoke Over Russia

64.3N 112.0E

July 24th, 2012 Category: Fires

Russia – July 23rd, 2012

A thick cloud of smoke completely obscures the Russian terrain below it in the left side of this image, while to the right, many individual fires releasing thick plumes of smoke can be discerned.

These fires have been plaguing central and eastern Russia over the last few months, consuming thousands of hectares of boreal forest.Russian firefighters have been battling huge blazes in Siberia for months.

Central Russia experienced record warm temperatures 11 – 12°F (6 – 7°C) above average during June, feeding fires that have burned more area in 2012 than in 2010–the year of the unprecedented heat wave that killed over 55,000 people.

The smoke from these wildfires were caught by the jet stream and have blown all the way to British Columbia, Canada and Seattle, Washington causing heightened amounts of air pollution, hazy days, and, the strangely positive side effect of amazingly brilliant sunsets.

Smoke East of Lena River, Russia

67.6N 125.8E

July 17th, 2012 Category: Fires, Rivers

Russia – July 13th, 2012

A thick swath of smoke sweeps diagonally across the left side of this image of Russian Siberia. Visible west of the smoke is the Lena River, the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob River and the Yenisei River). It is the 11th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed. It is the greatest river whose watershed is entirely within national ranges of Russia.

Dozens of Forest Fires in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, Russia

66.8N 82.9E

July 2nd, 2012 Category: Fires

Russia – June 28th, 2012

Dozens of forest fires have engulfed the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region in Russia’s Western Siberia, covering an area of more than 3,000 hectares, emergencies services said. Here, the fires can be seen in the lower right quadrant, releasing plumes of smoke that blow towards the south. More than 14 new fires broke out in the region over the past 24 hours. Eleven of them have been put out, while firefighters are still struggling to extinguish another 32 blazes (click here for previous images).

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