Russian climate doctrine and strategy include climate change as one of the biggest 21st century challenges especially socio-economic development of the Arctic region with both opportunities and risks (Drachkova et al., 2023, Kremlin, 2020). The Arctic is warming twice as fast as other areas with reduced snow cover, reduced permafrost, increased precipitation. Sea ice is continuing to melt rapidly:
Thickness of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean over the past 30 years decreased by 45%, while in the seas of Siberia, the Far East and Alaska (the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea, the Chukchi Sea, the Beaufort Sea) it has diminished by 87.5 percent. The glaciation area of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land decreased by more than 720 sq. km, while glaciation extent has reduced by 250 cu m (1.5 percent)Drachkova L, Kondratov N, Trofimova A (2023) Peculiarities of climate change in the Arctic and implications for environmental management
Assessment of economic impact is difficult partly due to difference with scientific climate models which analyse historical data and impact over longer periods of time compared with economic models. Also changing industries and facilities for example – investment in icebreakers over a period of time compared with ice-free shipping economics plans; facilities investment for either colder or warmer temperatures resulting in waste; agricultural planning for specific temperature ranges which may not happen as predicted.
And the opportunity cost? Development also means increases in power and energy demand to support it. The researchers suggest that balancing social, climate risks for the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Russian Arctic, taking into account uncertainty from both economic and climate models.
Drachkova L, Kondratov N, Trofimova A (2023) Peculiarities of climate change in the Arctic and implications for environmental management
E3S Web Conf., 378 (2023) 05001