Global warming isn't such a bad thing, a leading Russian climatologist told a conference last week.
The effects of rising temperatures will save on heating, increase farm production and open northern sea channels, said Vladimir Klimenko of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, according to a Moscow Times article.
On the downside, several Siberian and Far Eastern Russian cities will have to be rebuilt, Klimenko conceded in his report to Russian and German scholars at a conference sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a German organization that supports scientific study.
Regardless, "the reduction of heating alone outweighs all the negative results [of global warming] by many times," Klimenko said, according to Moscow Times. If the savings are used wisely, "then something can be achieved," he said.
Shorter heating seasons will save Russia 3 billion tons of oil by 2050 and 17 billion tons by 2150, Klimenko said.
At the same time, the growing season will lengthen and more land will be available for farming as northern climates warm up, he said.
Russia's Arctic coast will be ice-free for 105 days by 2100, and the Barents and Pechora seas will be open to navigation year-round, he predicted.
Andrei Shmakin of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences told the Moscow Times that global warming will cause droughts in Russia's south, heavy snowfalls in Siberia and icebergs on the seas, negating any imagined benefits.