Climate change
Franz Josef Land
© RIA Novosti. Alexei Kudenko

Natural Resources Ministry highlights positive and negative effects of global warming in the Arctic

Global warming has both a negative and positive impact on the ecological balance in the Arctic, the Arctic-Info news agency has reported, citing Gleb Vatletsov, director of the Hydrometeorology Department at the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

On the positive side, global warming has lead to a longer plant vegetation period, extending it by 5-10 days over the last 15 years, and in an increased reindeer forage base, Vatletsov said. According to the official, the larger forage base will help sustain the population of sable and elk and will increase the population of squirrels and foxes.

The negative effects include reindeer’s reduced access to moss due to the higher snow cover resulting from global warming. In addition, polar bears and seals are experiencing more food shortages.

Global warming is likely to increase the negative impact of flies and gadflies on reindeer, Vatletsov said. In addition, it may further expand the mass breeding grounds of pests and plant diseases.