A new article in Nature
warns that "the costs of a melting Arctic will be huge", thanks in part to the likely release of "a 50-gigatonne (Gt) reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates" beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, "either steadily over 50 years or suddenly". An abrupt release is "highly possible at any time", says Natalia Shakhova
of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who has observed plumes of methane up to a kilometre wide bubbling to the surface in the area. [more inside]
posted by rory
on Jul 25, 2013 -
Alaska is home to two small villages of Russian Orthodox "Old Believers," whose ancestors left the church and their home in Siberia in 1666 in the face of state-issued church reforms. They have traveled more than 20,000 miles over five centuries in the search for the perfect place to protect their traditions from outside influences. Now, assimilation into American culture is slowly overtaking them. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 5, 2013 -
Anyone familiar with the contemporary Russian humorous folklore (jokelore, or in Russian anekdoty) knows that one of the most popular series of such jokes revolves around the Chukchis, the native people of Chukotka, the most remote northeast corner of Russia. These jokes, especially popular in 1990s and 2000s, fit the international genre of ethnic stupidity jokes . . .
posted by jason's_planet
on Nov 10, 2012 -
In Siberia, several frozen human burials dating to 2,500 years ago have intact skin with elaborate tattoos
. Warning: link contains graphic pictures of dead people.
posted by Rumple
on Aug 23, 2012 -
by Evgenia Arbugaeva of "nomadic tribes of reindeer herders in my homeland, the Republic of Yakutia, which is located in eastern Siberia." You can read more about the indigenous peoples of Arctic Russia here
(as you might guess, the outlook isn't rosy), and if you're curious and want more links, there's a zillion of 'em here
posted by languagehat
on Dec 24, 2010 -
Trans-Siberian Rail Journeys
...follows the route of the Trans-Siberian Railroad which connects the newly opened regions of Russia, China and Mongolia. The seven-day train trip begins in Moscow and ends in Bejing. Also includes Russian archival footage that traces the 25 years (1891-1916) that it took to build the railroad. (PBS, 1996, 2 hours)
posted by vronsky
on Jan 19, 2010 -
Welcome to the charming world of Vissarion
: the Siberian, vegan, reincarnation of Christ
, who also happens to be a Polygamist. When he lost his job as a traffic cop in 1991, Sergei Torop changed his name to Vissarion and began spreading his message about how to attain moral perfection, drive out negative energy, and survive the coming Apocalypse. Today the Community of Vassarion in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia numbers around 10,000, while a further 50,000 follow his teachings in the world beyond. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy
on Oct 16, 2009 -
Dead Road - Museum of Communism in the Open
. "It was one of the most ambitious projects of the Stalin era, known as the 'railway of bones'
. At least 10 people a day died during the four years of its construction [actually 1947-1953], but unlike most of Uncle Joe's grand designs it was never completed and now sits unfinished in the tundra, an icy road to nowhere." The transpolar railway
was built by labour camps^
501 and 503 and construction was stopped after the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953; 800km, about half, was built. Some sections are currently in operation, but much is abandoned: depot and locomotives in Dolgoe
, Dolgoe itself
, labour camps
, more spectacular decay
. (Previously: Norilsk
, which was supposed to see an extension of the line.)
posted by parudox
on Aug 27, 2007 -
Siberia's permafrost is melting.
New Scientist reports that 250 million acres of permafrost are thawing, exposing the world's largest peat bog. This is likely to release billions of tons of methane gas. This would likely cause a positive feedback loop, massively accelerating global warming.
posted by mosch
on Aug 11, 2005 -
Kolyma: The Land of Gold and Death.
'Stalin's prisoners, or "lagerniks" as they were commonly called, referred to the frozen land of Kolyma as a planet, although it physically remained part of Mother Earth. This vast piece of Arctic and sub-Arctic territory, with its undefined political and geographical borders, was located in the furthest North-East corner of Siberia ... ' An online book by a survivor of the gulag.
posted by plep
on Jul 24, 2003 -
What Would Vissarion Do?
A former Russian traffic cop realizes that he is the reborn Son of God. Several devoted disciples agree, yea and verily. Insert own 'water into vodka' joke here. On second thought, please don't.
posted by Dirjy
on May 24, 2002 -