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Russian Land of Permafrost and Mammoths Is Thawing



YAKUTSK, Russia — The lab assistant reached into the freezer and lifted out a football-size object in a tattered plastic grocery bag, unwrapping its muddy covering and placing it on a wooden table. It was the severed head of a wolf.

The animal, with bared teeth and mottled fur, appeared ready to lunge. But it had been glowering for some 32,000 years — preserved in the permafrost, 65 feet underground in Yakutia in northeastern Siberia.

As the Arctic, including much of Siberia, warms at least twice as fast as the rest of the world, the permafrost — permanently frozen ground — is thawing. Oddities like the wolf’s head have been emerging more frequently in a land already known for spitting out frozen woolly mammoths whole.

The thawing of the permafrost — along with other changes triggered by global warming — is reshaping this incredibly remote region sometimes called the Kingdom of Winter. It is one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, and huge; Yakutia, if independent, would be the world’s eighth largest country.

The loss of permafrost deforms the landscape itself, knocking down houses and barns. The migration patterns of animals hunted for centuries are shifting, and severe floods wreak havoc almost every spring.

The water, washing out already limited dirt roads and rolling corpses from their graves, threatens entire villages with permanent inundation. Waves chew away the less frozen Arctic coastline.

Indigenous peoples are more threatened than ever. Residents joust constantly with nature in unpredictable ways, leaving them feeling baffled, unsettled, helpless, depressed and irritated.

“Everything is changing, people are trying to figure out how to adapt,” said Afanasiy V. Kudrin, 63, a farmer in Nalimsk, a village of 525 people above the Arctic Circle. “We need the cold to come back, but it just gets warmer and warmer and warmer.”

Climate change is a global phenomenon, but the shifts are especially pronounced in Russia, where permafrost covers some two-thirds of the country at depths ranging up to almost a mile.

“People don’t comprehend the scale of this change, and our government is not even thinking about it,” said Aleksandr N. Fedorov, deputy director of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute, a research body in Yakutsk, the regional capital.

In Yakutia, almost 20 percent of Russia, distances are vast and transportation erratic. The population is just under one million. Natives joke that every resident could claim one lake.

Yakutia’s 33 districts are the size of countries. In the far northeast, the Srednekolymsk district, which lies entirely above the Arctic Circle, is slightly smaller than Greece. Just 8,000 residents live in 10 villages, including 3,500 in the capital, also Srednekolymsk.

The region has been a synonym for remote for centuries. Empress Elizabeth exiled the first prominent political prisoner to Srednekolymsk in 1744, when it took a year to reach overland from St. Petersburg. There are just two main highways transiting Yakutia, with the one built mostly by Gulag prisoners under Communism still largely unpaved.

In Srednekolymsk, summer used to last from June 1 to Sept. 1, but now extends a couple weeks longer on both ends. Outsiders might not notice that the thermometer in January often hovers around -50 F, rather than -75 F. Residents call -50 “chilly.”

In a regionwide pattern, the average annual temperature in Yakutsk has risen more than four degrees, to 18.5 F from 14 F, over several decades, said Mr. Fedorov of the permafrost institute.

Warmer winters and longer summers are steadily thawing the frozen earth that covers 90 percent of Yakutia. The top layer that thaws in summer and freezes in winter can extend down as far as 10 feet where three feet used to be the maximum.

Eroding cliffs on riverbanks expose other areas, like where the wolf head appeared, that had long been deeply buried.

The thawing permafrost, and increased precipitation, have made the land wetter. The snow and rain create a vicious circle, forming an insulating layer that speeds defrosting underground.

Water backing up behind ice floes now causes ravaging floods virtually every May.

In Srednekolymsk last year, floods swamped the dirt airstrip, with its separate outhouses for men and women. Often battered Soviet turboprops are the lifeline to the world, but the airstrip had to close for a week.

Nalimsk, 11 miles north of Srednekolymsk, has flooded five years in a row. Mosquitoes grown fat in the expanding bogs swarm like kamikaze pilots. “Free acupuncture!” joked Vasily P. Okoneshnikov, 54, the village headman.

Plump black Turpan ducks used to arrive regularly during the first week of June. This year migrating birds began to descend on May 1. There were far fewer Turpans, and suddenly geese, a novelty.

Elsewhere, the migration routes of wild reindeer have shifted, while unfamiliar insects and plants inhabit the woods.

Nalimsk hunters once stored their fish and game in a 22-foot deep cave dug out of the permafrost, a kind of natural freezer. Now its thawing walls drip water, and the meat rots.

“We buy meat and it is no good, too dry,” Mr. Okoneshnikov said. “We have no choice, even if it’s shameful” to shop, rather than hunt.

Farther north, residents refuse to abandon their waterlogged, riverfront villages, afraid of losing access to whitefish, their staple diet.

The village of Beryozovka has flooded virtually every spring for a decade, its 300 residents forced onto boats for weeks to run errands like buying bread. They finally accepted a five-year project to move the village 900 yards uphill.

In the district, Beryozovka has the only concentration of Even people, one of various dwindling indigenous tribes.

The Even, who are reindeer herders, were settled only in 1954 through a government drive. They speak a distinct language; individual clans inherit ancestral songs.

“At some point they talked about abandoning the village, but people did not want to move out,” said Octyabrina R. Novoseltseva, chairwoman of the Northern Indigenous People’s Association in the Srednekolymsk region. “They would lose everything, the culture would all disappear.”

The government in distant Moscow is an abstract concept. Alaska is closer. Villagers throughout Yakutia bemoan relying on their own resources to adapt to climate change.

Even state-run institutions like the permafrost institute lack the means for the complicated field work needed to assess the full extent of permafrost loss. Nor can they gauge other fallout, like how much methane that microbes in the newly thawed ground produce, adding to global warming.

“We do not really monitor the situation, so we just have to see what it brings,” said Yevgeny M. Sleptsov, the head of the Srednekolymsk district, as he piloted a fishing boat along the Kolyma River at 10 p.m. in the muted light of the endless Arctic day.

The government is also unable to do much about other environmental problems, including wildfires surging through millions of acres of remote forest across Yakutia and the rest of Siberia. Reaching them is too costly.

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In Crucial Pennsylvania, Democrats Worry a Fracking Ban Could Sink Them




PITTSBURGH — Though they are both Democrats, John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, and Bill Peduto, this city’s mayor, have their differences on the environment.

Mr. Fetterman, who toppled an incumbent Democrat in 2018 from the left, nevertheless calls Pennsylvania “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” and sees extracting and taxing gas as critical to the state’s economy and the “union way of life.” Mr. Peduto lobbied unsuccessfully against a local petrochemical plant and is steering his once-struggling steel town to be independent of fossil fuels within 15 years.

But they agree on one thing: a pledge to ban all hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, could jeopardize any presidential candidate’s chances of winning this most critical of battleground states — and thus the presidency itself. So as Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren woo young environmental voters with a national fracking ban, these two Democrats are uneasy.

“In Pennsylvania, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of related jobs that would be — they would be unemployed overnight,” said Mr. Fetterman, who endorsed Mr. Sanders in 2016 before Donald J. Trump won his state, pop. 12.8 million, by just over 44,000 votes. “Pennsylvania is a margin play,” he added. “And an outright ban on fracking isn’t a margin play.”

Mr. Peduto said “the Warren-Sanders, ban-all-fracking-right-now” position would “absolutely devastate communities throughout the Rust Belt” and pit environmentalists against workers at a time when Democrats need both.

“If a candidate comes into this state and tries to sell that policy, they’re going to have a hard time winning,” he said.

In critical pockets of the country, perhaps none more so than Pennsylvania, the issue of fracking could become vital in the general election, according to union leaders, Democratic politicians and Republican strategists. Potential battleground states where Democrats nurse dreams of winning, like Ohio and Texas, are hotbeds of natural gas — Texas has 137,000 natural gas wells — and Mr. Trump has signaled he hopes for a Republican comeback in New Mexico, another fracking state.

Mr. Trump has made plain that his unabashed advocacy for oil and gas development will be central to his re-election, as he blasts Democrats as “anti-energy zealots.” And Democrats like Mr. Peduto and Mr. Fetterman take him seriously. Fresh for both are the wounds of 2016, when Hillary Clinton was sharply criticized for her line about putting coal miners and companies “out of business” even though, at the time, she also spoke of creating new economic opportunities for coal workers.

In some ways, the fracking ban is indicative of the entire political bet undergirding the candidacies of Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren that the 2020 campaign will not be won by appeals to the narrow interests of traditional swing voters but through the mass mobilization of an energized electorate.

Mr. Trump will demagogue on energy regardless of the Democrats’ positions, they argue; better to inspire young voters and others impassioned to tackle climate change, especially in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, than to worry about isolated voters in Western Pennsylvania’s fracking country. “Dream big, fight hard,” as Ms. Warren’s slogan goes.

“It goes to the heart of the debate that we’re seeing within the Democratic Party right now, which is the appetite among progressives and the left for an agenda that remains unpalatable to swing voters in the states that determine the Electoral College,” said Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report.

Ashleigh Deemer, deputy director of PennEnvironment, which supports a ban, is unmoved by the low support for a full ban. “The model is changing,” she said. “Everything we know about how to win a campaign is changing.”

Driving through downtown Monaca, Pa., it is hard to imagine cars backed up past the Shear Utopia hair salon, window repair shops and lonely P-Dub’s Sports Bar and Grille. But State Representative Robert F. Matzie, a Democrat, insists a planned $4 million roundabout will be needed in a few years to deal with the bottleneck coming to State Route 51, “because of the cracker.”

“The cracker” is shorthand for a $6 billion Royal Dutch Shell petrochemical complex under construction in Beaver County, just northwest of Pittsburgh, that will convert ethane, a natural gas liquid fracked in Southwestern Pennsylvania, into pellets for plastic manufacturing. It gets its nickname from the chemical reaction known as cracking.

Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania during the decline of the steel industry, Mr. Matzie said he remembered finding fewer students in his class after each summer vacation because their parents got laid off and moved away. Now, handsome new townhomes are being erected with views of the construction site smokestacks.

A candidate who wants to ban hydraulic fracturing cannot win the state, he said plainly; his vote in the primary will most likely go to Mr. Biden.

“He’s quite frankly probably the only guy you could stand onstage with in Beaver County,” Mr. Matzie said.

In neighboring Washington County, which has the most fracking wells in the state, Republicans took control of the county commission for the first time in two decades last fall. The remaining Democratic commissioner, Larry Maggi, said he could not support a nominee who supported a ban.

Fracking triggers similar passions for environmental activists, who lament its immediate impact on the earth and what they say is its stalling of progress toward clean, renewable energy.

United Nations scientists have urged a deadline for achieving net-zero global emissions — that is, eliminating as much greenhouse gas pollution from the atmosphere as humans generate — by 2050. That goal will require an aggressive transition to wind, solar and other power sources that do not generate climate-warming carbon dioxide. Once viewed charitably as a “bridge” to a cleaner future because it produces far less carbon than coal or oil, natural gas has become a new front in the climate change fight.

Mr. Peduto said that was, in part, why he has opposed the cracker plant. “The people in the Rust Belt are being sold false hope of, ‘Just sacrifice your land and your air and your water one more time and we will provide you with all of these jobs,’” he said.

Yet he had a warning for national Democrats. “This presidential race comes down to about ten states,” he said. “And if you are trying to pass universal bans, it will never happen.”

The numbers are not that conclusive. In 2016, Mr. Trump outpaced Mrs. Clinton by a combined 40,700 votes in Washington and Beaver Counties — almost double the margin that Mitt Romney secured over Barack Obama four years earlier. And Democrats could fall further. Mr. Trump won those two counties by 60 percent and 57 percent — a lower margin than more rural parts of the state.


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Future of Container Freight Transport Market Size 2025 Business News




The Container Freight Transport Market report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

The Container Freight Transport Market report provides a detailed analysis of global market size, regional and country-level market size, segmentation market growth, market share, competitive landscape, sales analysis, impact of domestic and global market players, value chain optimization, trade regulations, recent developments, opportunities analysis, strategic market growth analysis, product launches, area marketplace expanding, and technological innovations.

Statistical forecasts in the research study are available for the total Container Freight Transport market along with its key segments and development policy. The key segments, their growth prospects, and the new opportunities they present to market players have been mentioned in the report. Moreover, the impact analysis of the latest mergers and acquisition and joint ventures has been included in the report. The report also provides valuable proposals for new project development that can help companies optimize their operations and revenue structure.

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Leading players covered in the Container Freight Transport Market report:

Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Evergreen Marine Corp, MSC Industrial Direct, COSCO Shipping Development, CMA CGM, APL Logistics Americas, Kuehne + Nagel, Hanjin Group.

The report provides insights on the following pointers:

-Market Size Forecasts: The report has provided accurate and precise estimations of the Global Container Freight Transport Market size in terms of value and volume.

-Market Trend Analysis: Here, the report has shed light on the upcoming trends and developments anticipated to impact the Container Freight Transport Market growth of the market.

-Future Prospects: The analysts have focused on the growth opportunities that may prove beneficial for the market players to make their mark in the Container Freight Transport Market.

-Segmental Analysis: Exclusive analysis of the product type, application, and end user segments is provided in this unit of the report.

-Regional Analysis: This section explores the growth opportunities in key regions and countries, which will help the market players to focus on the potential regions.

Key Segments Studied in the Global Container Freight Transport:

Market Analysis By Applications

Beverage & Food

Market Analysis By Type 

Small Containers (?20 Feet)
Large Containers (20-40 Feet)
High Cube Containers (?40 Feet).

Market Analysis By Regions:

United States
Southeast Asia
Central & South America.

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To conclude, the Container Freight Transport Market report will provide the clients with a high-yielding market analysis assisting them to understand the market status and come up with new market avenues to capture hold of the market share.

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Table of Contents

1 Report Overview

2 Global Growth Trends

3 Market Share by Key Players

4 Breakdown Data by Type and Application

5 United States

5.1 United States Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

5.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in United States

5.3 United States Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

5.4 United States Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

6 Europe

6.1 Europe Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

6.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in Europe

6.3 Europe Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

6.4 Europe Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

7 China

7.1 China Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

7.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in China

7.3 China Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

7.4 China Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

8 Japan

8.1 Japan Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

8.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in Japan

8.3 Japan Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

8.4 Japan Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

9 Southeast Asia

9.1 Southeast Asia Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

9.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in Southeast Asia

9.3 Southeast Asia Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

9.4 Southeast Asia Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

10 India

10.1 India Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

10.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in India

10.3 India Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

10.4 India Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

11 Central & South America

11.1 Central & South America Container Freight Transport Market Size (2013-2018)

11.2 Container Freight Transport Key Players in Central & South America

11.3 Central & South America Container Freight Transport Market Size by Type

11.4 Central & South America Container Freight Transport Market Size by Application

12 International Players Profiles

13 Market Forecast 2018-2025

14 Analyst’s Viewpoints/Conclusions

15 Appendix

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UK expected to give Huawei restricted role in 5G rollout




Chinese telecom giant Huawei announced on October 16, 2019 that it has passed the 400,000 5G antennas mark, the fifth generation of mobile phones, in the world with 56 operators who have already started to roll out the new mobile network.


Huawei could be about to find itself at the center of an intense political rift between Britain and the United States this week.

London is expected to grant the Chinese tech giant some access to its 5G network, according to a Financial Times report. Citing people close to the discussions, the FT reported that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking at imposing a cap on Huawei’s share of the market.

It’s believed that Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, could be allowed to provide non-core telecom gear, like the antennas and base stations seen on rooftops, rather than the key infrastructure used for processing customer information. But the U.S. has demanded an outright ban, like the one implemented in Australia.

“The security and resilience of the U.K.’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance,” a U.K. government spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. “The Government continues to consider its position on high risk vendors and a decision will be made in due course.”

‘Three is better than two’

Competition is a primary concern in the row over Huawei. Washington wants allies to block it on national security grounds, but doing so in a market like the U.K. would narrow the competitive landscape for 5G equipment providers down to Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.

“Huawei has become the poster child of the U.S.-China tech battle,” Dexter Thillien, a senior TMT analyst at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC over the phone. “It’s almost being seen to the outside world as the only player.”

Thillien said there was a concern that the major mobile network operators would be restricted in choice if Huawei is blocked from the country’s 5G rollout. Three out of four of the U.K.’s big carriers — EE, Vodafone and Three — already use Huawei equipment in the networks.

“Three is better than two,” he said. “If you ban, you have a choice between Ericsson and Nokia. You lack competition.”

Vodafone stressed that it doesn’t use Huawei in its “core,” and has “multiple layers of security and encryption in place between it and our masts.” EE and Three were not immediately available for comment.

‘Momentous decision’

But the U.S. has made no secret of its position on Huawei. Over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a warning to Britain via President Donald Trump’s communication channel of choice — Twitter.

“The U.K. has a momentous decision ahead on 5G,” Pompeo tweeted, agreeing with an opinion article from British Conservative lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, who said: “The truth is that only nations able to protect their data will be sovereign.”

U.S. officials are concerned Huawei’s that the use of 5G gear would put intelligence sharing with the U.K. at risk. Collaboration on intelligence has been a key part of the longstanding “special relationship” between the two countries.

The main contention Washington has raised with the possibility that Huawei provides Beijing with a “back door” to sensitive network information. Huawei has consistently denied such claims, stating it’s a private company and would never spy for China.

Experts have however been skeptical, pointing to Chinese laws that mean domestic companies are required to assist Beijing with intelligence collection.

The U.K. is expected to make a decision on whether to let Huawei build out its fifth-generation mobile networks later this week. A minister for the government has previously told CNBC security will be the “top priority” ahead of the decision.

It’s not the only technology-related issue to prove a potential sticking point in U.K.-US relations. Proposals to implement a so-called digital sales tax in the U.K. have led to warnings from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the country could be faced with reprisals.


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