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The verdict of scientists: Moscow, the weather turned bad forever
Material posted: Publication date: 01-09-2017
Weather cataclysms will occur in Moscow increasingly, scientists warn. Climate change will lead to increased costs of the city budget, growth of morbidity and mortality additional residents.

Moscow scientists conducted a unique study of the environmental and energy situation in the capital. The results of this work were first presented at the Climate forum of the cities of Russia, which was held in the CEH "Manege". "Moscow – a super meta-system that requires the original comprehensive approach. So we tried to approach the problem as a complex: the composition of the working group included engineers, economists, biologists, geographers, urbanists from MEI, IAP RAS, IG SB RAS, MUCTR, Moscow state University, MSSU, and Obninsk centre of meteorology" - said, presenting the results of the study, the expert of the Analytical center under the Government of the Russian Federation, head of the Commission on ecology of the Public chamber of Moscow Evgeny Gasho. The scientists collected information from various sources, including balance assessment and specific indicators, and then, using the latest data processing technology, has analyzed the different options for the development of the fuel and energy balance of the capital and near belt of Moscow region.

The main conclusion of the study: Moscow in recent years has made impressive gains in energy efficiency. Electricity consumption in the city from 2010 to 2015 increased by only 4.8%. Moreover, the main contribution to this growth has made trading enterprises, small businesses and services that for 10 years the consumption has increased five times (from 3 to 15 billion kWh). As for the prospects, for the next five is expected to slow growth in electricity consumption up to two percent annually.

Even better, the situation with heat consumption in Moscow it has not grown since 2000. The main reason for this stability - large amounts of new housing which is built according to more stringent standards of insulation. As a result, 80 million square meters of real estate (which is equal to a new city with two million inhabitants) is introduced in the capital, without increasing total consumption.

In addition, all new houses fitted with water meters, which encourages consumers to rational use. As a result, water consumption by Muscovites for twenty years has decreased by half. Gas consumption in the five years decreased by 2%.

The main result of energy efficiency becomes the improvement of the environment: greenhouse gas emissions in Moscow today, almost a quarter lower than in 1990, and the concentration of carbon dioxide, water vapor and ammonia in the city is determined not so much technological, how much natural factors and features. Despite the fact that in the capital today generates 14 GW of electric and nearly 60 GW thermal power.

The concentration of carbon dioxide, water vapor and ammonia in Moscow is mainly determined by natural factors

"Greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 78-79% of the 1990 level, while the abundance of gross errors in the calculation of the simple numbers of foreign researchers is simply amazing, - said Evgeny Gasho. - None of the existing advanced techniques, infinite books and brochures all energy committees and climate funds does not see these key effects reached Moscow. We are ready to share our methods of calculations with counterparts in the West. If you want, I can send our students and graduate students - they will show how to correctly count".

The ecologist notes that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a good sense of the flora and fauna. "People living near the parks, can you tell our foreign guests about the squirrels and the moose, beaver, ducks and other species that have begun to return to urban forests and parks", - said Gascho.

Scientists expect that initiated the program of renovation will further strengthen the positive trends in ecological and energy balance of the capital: under the condition of mass use of "green" standards for new construction in areas of renovation to the consumption of electricity and heat can be reduced by 30-40 percent, water by 40 to 50 percent, which will lead to further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the capital.

Clear and present danger

The main challenge that we will have to respond to Moscow in the coming years – climate change. "The average temperature in the city is now growing, but are growing significantly more fluctuations: frequent transitions temperature of zero degrees, jump atmospheric pressure," - said Evgeny Gasho. As a result, during the year, fluctuations in the electrical load in the capital 2-3 times and heat is 8-9 times that requires a huge standby capacity. Scientists estimate that the reserve of thermal power, supported in Moscow, could provide the warmth the whole of St. Petersburg.

The reserve thermal capacity, supported in Moscow, can provide heat to all Saint Petersburg

Thus the energy sector well prepared for natural disasters, with significant margin of safety of engineering systems and backup equipment. In addition, after each natural disaster is a set of adaptation measures that reduce vulnerability of energy facilities in the event of another natural disaster. "An example is the phenomenon of freezing rain that caused in 2010 a significant loss of supply and relatively high costs for restoration of damaged areas, - said Evgeny Gasho. - And in 2016-m to year six ice rains in Moscow, remained almost unnoticed".

However, other sectors of the urban economy will require substantial investment to adapt to the "new climate reality". In particular, scientists estimate that only damages the road surface from icing in the winter have to spend 1-2 billion annually. Still 2-2,5 billion rubles have to be spent on compensation for damages from weather disasters for residential buildings. Very large costs are associated with adaptation to new climatic conditions urban water system and sanitation.

However, the most vulnerable to climate change will be green spaces. "For most of the adverse natural phenomena, freezing rain, squally wind, storm, waves of heat and cold – the costs of adaptation measures green spaces will produce a significant effect and, in most cases, they are 20-25 percent smaller than the possible damage scientists say. Economic estimates show that the main adaptation measure is not only preservation, but also maintaining the quality and coherence of all types of green infrastructure of the city."

90% of the damage from climate change will be associated with increased morbidity and mortality additional

The second, less obvious, "the group of maximum risk" - the Muscovites themselves. And we are not talking about the risk to die under fallen trees and disrupted advertising structures. "About 90% of the total economic damage from climate change in large Metropolitan areas may be irreparable damage through the population, - said Evgeny Gasho. - This includes the damage from morbidity, more mortality, various types of indirect damages." The scientist emphasizes that "our figures are reflected in the loss of the city from the heat wave of 2010".

The total amount of damages in connection with the proposed increase in the number of hazardous weather events, according to scientists, will amount to 220-250 billion rubles in 2025.

Rubchenko Maxim


Tags: climate

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