Environmental Issues Of Russia 's Geography And Political History

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Environmental issues have progressively increased over the last hundred years. Even so, these geographical conflicts have not been brought to light until the past several decades, as health problems and loss of biodiversity become a growing issue. Russia, in particular, has produced an extreme amount of environmental problems for itself. These growing problems can be explained through Russia’s geography and political history. As Russia continues to advance economically and attempts to stay a world power, these environmental issues must be actively improved upon before more natural resources are lost. Russia encompasses the largest area of land for a single country. This massive amount of land has provided both benefits and challenges for those who live there. It is 6.6 million square miles and covers one eighth of the world’s land surface (Bradshaw, 2004). There are several different climates that comprise Russian territory. As is described in Contemporary World Regional Geography, Russia’s “hot deserts in the south change northward to steppe grass- land, to deciduous and coniferous forest, and to tundra on the shores of the Arctic Ocean” (Bradshaw, p.141). This climate composition imposes a variety of weather related challenges, especially for those who live toward the Artic Ocean. In addition, Russia has nine time zones due to its size. The extremity between climate and time in Russia correlates greatly with its history. It is perhaps for this reason that Russia has taken more time to develop and advance than its European neighbors. One of the advantages of living in such an expansive territory is the abundant supply of natural resources. In the mid-1900s, Russia became a world power as it began to lead the way in mineral and ... ... middle of paper ... ...diversity and natural resources. While Russia has a long way to go before significantly reducing environmental problems in the area, progress has been slowly unfolding over the past few years. As citizens realize the health effects of pollution, awareness spreads and governments must become more active. While Russia’s environmental reform still needs improvement, other countries are beginning to step up and hold each other accountable in increasing sustainability. Russia’s shear size and climates makes reform tricky and can be slower to implement than other countries. Even so, Russia has been successful in reducing pollution emissions since the late 1990s (Klebaner, 2010). While the natural geography of Russia plays a role in its slowness to adapt, Russia does seem to be heading in a positive direction toward reducing the environmental damages that they have caused.
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