PD1.3
Environmental security issues surrounding the 2010 record heat and wildfires in Russia

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 12:00 AM
Environmental security issues surrounding the 2010 record heat and wildfires in Russia
305 (Washington State Convention Center)
Speaker Tbd, TBD, Boston, MA

In late July, record temperatures and regional drought contributed to a series of hundreds of wildfires that broke out across Russia, primarily in the west. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared a state of emergency in seven regions due to the fires, while 28 other regions were under a state of emergency due to crop failures caused by the drought. The fires have cost an estimated $15 billion (US) in damages so far, and although truly accurate estimates are difficult, it is believed that these anomalous climatic conditions may have contributed to the deaths of some 15,000 people. This paper will describe how the record heat, drought, and wildfires put a significant strain on Russian infrastructure, while also contributing to a worldwide food security concern over wheat stocks and rising prices. Additionally, the paper will explore whether this event can or should be viewed as a harbinger of things to come in a world affected by global climate change.