July 26, 2022
State Report on the Environment in the Republic of Karelia in 2021 was published. It contains data on characteristics of the climate, air, land, water, forest, and biological resources and information about the economic and socio-demographic situation in the region.
State Report on the Environment in the Republic of Karelia is ordered by the Republics Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment. This important yearbook has been published for 30 years. During 17 of them, the editorial board was headed by Andrey Gromtsev, Leading Researcher at the Laboratory for Landscape Ecology and Forest Ecosystem Protection (Forest Research Institute KarRC RAS). Other members of the editorial board are Chief Researcher from the Institute of Biology Oleg Kuznetsov, Leading Researcher from the Institute of Economics Anna Kurilo, and Leading Specialist from the Karelian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment Elena Polina.

Annual monitoring and assessment of the environmental situation in the republic are a must. They help take notice of unfavorable phenomena and evaluate the risks they are fraught with. E.g., peak heat was recorded last year: the air temperature in Petrozavodsk on June 22nd reached +34.3 degrees Celsius the highest ever in the history of observations, Andrey Gromtsev remarks.

As demonstrated by the Report, 2021 generally featured high meteorological instability with abnormal phenomena. In the first quarter of the year, substantial cooling periods (-27 -38 degrees) repeatedly alternated with the temperature rising above zero. May was noted for abrupt weather swings. Starting June 20, Karelia experienced unprecedented heat. The region suffered a dramatic deficit of rainfall. This situation caused an upsurge of wild fires: their number in 2021 grew to 302 versus 141 in 2020. The area affected by fires increased 37-fold: 19 341 hectares versus 520 ha in the previous year.

The number of dangerous weather phenomena in 2021 totaled 17 almost thrice that of 2020.

Describing the conditions for the human population, the authors of the yearbook mention that there operated 59 wastewater treatment facilities in settlements of the republic. Most of them are in need of overhaul and renovation. Water supply fulfilling quality standards was available to 408 000 people 70% of the total population. Water pipelines in settlements are over 70% worn out, which affects the water quality.

Like in the previous yearbook, the public health section reports the situation with the new coronavirus infection. According to official data, the COVID-19 rate was 12 060 cases per 100 000 population, which is 1.6 times that of the 2020 level. The overall incidence in Karelia in 2021 increased by 9.4%.

The report is made up of nine large sections and an appendix with a listing of regional- and local-level protected areas. The edition, as Andrey Gromtsev says, will be of interest for a very wide readership.

The State Report is needed for the work of all sorts of specialists: for decision-makers, who need to know what is happening in the region to deliver timely response, as well as, for instance, for school teachers, who tell their students about the republics nature and socio-demographic situation, Editor-in-Chief summed up.

The Report is available in electronic form (in Russian): link.

See also:

July 28, 2022
Karelian biologist Viktor Mironov carried out a novel study on the daily effects of solar activity on plant growth. Previously, this phenomenon was usually studied on a yearly scale. The new detailed approach and personally done measurements of increment in over 160 000 moss shoots have helped the scientist discover previously unknown effects of solar activity.
July 19, 2022
Specialists from the Forest Research Institute (FRI) KarRC RAS study how spruce advance regeneration adapts to an abrupt change in light conditions in gaps formed by thinning. To this end, researchers started a large-scope two-year experiment with 12 forest plots for monitoring trees in different settings. This integrated study will serve both for theoretical science improving the understanding of tree adaptation mechanisms, and for applied tasks its results will form the background for silvicultural operations meant to form high-productivity coniferous stands.