Russia Warming Over Two Times Faster Than Rest of Planet

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Russia Warming Over Two Times Faster Than Rest of Planet

Country's environment ministry issues climate change warning in annual report

Polar bears pictured in the northwestern Murmansk region of Russia on Aug. 13, 2015. (Photo: Alexander Petrosyan/Kommersant via Getty Images)

Polar bears pictured in the northwestern Murmansk region of Russia on Aug. 13, 2015. (Photo: Alexander Petrosyan/Kommersant via Getty Images)

Russia is warming at 2.5 times the global average and faces a dramatic rise in related threats—from floods to fires—the country's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection revealed Friday in its annual report.

"Growth of average temperatures in Russia in 1976-2014 was 0.42 degrees Celsius in 10 years, which is 2.5 times more than growth of global temperatures on Earth for the same period—0.17 degrees Celsius in 10 years," the ministry wrote, according to media reports.

"Climate change leads to growth of dangerous meteorological phenomena," the ministry continued, citing dramatic floods and severe forest fires last year. According to the agency's calculations, Russia faced 569 events in 2014—marking the greatest number since the ministry began keeping track.

The report charts temperature fluctuations affecting the climate, leading to ice melting, sea levels rising, floods, droughts and other phenomena.

Coming in the wake of the Paris climate talks, the ministry's findings underscore the urgency of climate change. The conclusions are significant, further, given President Vladmir Putin's historic refusal to acknowledge the crisis.

What's more, the ministry's findings follow a report released released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration earlier this month which found that loss of sea ice, and climbing temperatures in the Barents Sea, off the coast of Norway and Russia, are already causing "a poleward shift in fish communities."

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