Researchers analyze prehistoric viruses in animals dug out from the Siberian permafrost.
- Scientists in a Siberian laboratory in Russia began studying ancient viruses.
- The viruses come from prehistoric animals dug out from the melting permafrost.
- The research lab used to be a center for the development of biological weapons.
The world's only known woolly mammoth trunk.
Credit: Semyon Grigoryev/NEFU
A mineral made in a Kamchatka volcano may hold the answer to cheaper batteries, find scientists.
- Russian scientists discover a new mineral in the volcanic area of Kamchatka in the country's far east.
- The mineral dubbed "petrovite" can be utilized to power sodium-ion batteries.
- Batteries based on salt would be cheaper to produce than lithium-ion batteries.
Excited Russian scientists at the edge of the volcanic area in Kamchatka where the mineral was found.
Credit: St. Petersburg University / Filatov
Crystal structure displaying sodium migration pathways.
Credit: Filatov et al., Mineralogical Magazine, 2020
President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
It's one of the nation's worst oil spills on record.
- The accident occurred in the Siberian city of Norilsk.
- The company said thawing permafrost caused a fuel tank to collapse.
- Thawing permafrost poses a major threat to Russia's oil industry, which is the world's third largest.
Greenpeace Russia<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The incident led to catastrophic consequences, and we will be seeing the repercussions for years to come," Sergey Verkhovets, coordinator of Arctic projects for WWF Russia, <a href="https://wwf.ru/en/resources/news/zelenaya-ekonomika/wwf-razliv-diztopliva-v-norilske-trebuet-federalnogo-vmeshatelstva-/" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "We are talking about dead fish, polluted plumage of birds and poisoned animals."</p><p>Greenpeace <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/06/04/869936256/russian-power-plant-spills-thousands-of-tons-of-oil-into-arctic-region" target="_blank">said</a> the clean-up won't do much good:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The booms that were set up will only collect an insignificant part of the pollution, so we can assert that almost all of the diesel fuel will remain in the environment."</p><p>Norilsk Nickel, the owner of the power plant, said the fuel tank collapsed because of "abnormally mild temperatures" in the permafrost.</p>
How climate change threatens Russian oil<p>Russia, the world's fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The nation is warming <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-government-acknowledges-climate-change-publishes-a-plan-outlining-its-positives/" target="_blank">two and a half times faster</a> than the rest of the planet, and in recent years it's suffered costly floods and <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/siberia-wildfires-russia-potential-disaster-climate-change-both-feed-off-and-contribute-to-warming-greenpeace/" target="_blank">wildfires</a>.</p><p>Thawing permafrost in Siberian regions poses a major threat to Russia's oil industry, which is the world's third largest. One key reason, as evidenced by last week's accident, is that melting permafrost jeopardizes the structural integrity of oil-field infrastructure.</p><p>Of course, when oil infrastructure is jeopardized, so is the environment. That's why Greenpeace Russia is calling for increased environmental regulations and unscheduled audits of oil producers in the nation's Arctic region.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Environmental control should be strengthened, and the operation of facilities should be under special control to prevent accidents, especially in the conditions of melting permafrost due to global climate change," the organization said in a <a href="https://greenpeace.ru/news/2020/06/02/do-i-posle-avarija-na-tajmyre-v-kosmosnimkah/" target="_blank">statement.</a></p>
Strange bone circles made from mammoths revealed clues about how ancient communities survived Europe's last ice age.
- Archaeologists found new clues to the purpose of the bone circles in Russia and Ukraine from the last Ice Age.
- The previous theories assumed they were used for dwellings.
- The new finds indicate they were used partially for fuel and had remains of different plants.
Kostenki 11 site in the Russian Plains.
Credit: Alex Pryor