Science 3 min read

Climate Change Could Make Siberia More Habitable

jackmac34 / Pixabay

jackmac34 / Pixabay

Using the current and future climate scenarios, a team of researchers analyzed the climate comfort of Asian Russia. Based on their findings, Siberia could become more habitable sooner than we thought.

With a space of 13 million square kilometers, Asian Russia accounts for 77 percent of the land area in Russia. On the other hand, its population is just 27 percent of the country’s residents.

You’ll find the inhabitants of Asian Russia in the south, along the forest-steppe because of one simple reason.

The climate over there is more comfortable, and the soil is fertile. As a result, it’s more suited for human survival.

According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Elena Parfenova:

“Previous human migrations have been associated with climate change. As civilizations developed technology that enabled them to adapt, humans became less reliant on the environment, particularly in terms of climate.”

With that in mind, the researchers set out on a mission. They wanted to know if future changes in climate could cause the less-hospitable part of Asian Russia to become more habitable for humans.

How Future Climate Change Could Create A Hospitable Siberia

For their analysis, the researchers used a combination of 20 general circulation models, including two CO2 Representative Concentration Pathway scenario. RCP 8.5 means extreme climate changes, while RCP 2.6 represents milder changes.

Using the collective means of January to July temperature, including the annual precipitation in Asian Russia, the researchers were able to establish their effect on three climate indices necessary for human survival.

These include permafrost coverage, winter severity, and Ecological Landscape Potential (ELP).

Dr. Parfenova noted:

“Our simulations showed that under RCP8.5, by the 2080s Asian Russia would have a milder climate, with less permafrost coverage, decreasing from the contemporary 65 percent to 40 percent of the area by the 2080s.”

Also, the researchers discovered that the ELP for sustainability would improve in more than 15 percent of the area, even under RCP 2.6. With the improvement, the territory’s ability to attract and sustain the human population would increase by five-fold.

Dr. Parfenova concluded that although Asian Russia is extremely cold right now, that could change really soon. In the future, the climate would be warmer and support crop production and distribution.

As food security becomes more favorable, the chances for human settlement increases.

“However, suitable land development depends on the authorities’ social, political, and economic policies. Lands with developed infrastructure and high agricultural potential would be populated first,” the researcher concluded.

Read More: Scientists Propose to Refreeze the Arctic to Reverse Climate Change

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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