The paper provides findings of the research work and scientific discussions under the “Global Sustainability Strategy Forum” (GSSF) that aims to develop evidence-informed judgments on challenges and solutions. It views attaining sustainability as a set of closely-coupled societal and environmental challenges and opportunities that require integration of multiple disciplines, new research methods, and new knowledge sources with sensitivity to regional and cultural diversities. The project is designed to produce innovative insights and strategies to support effective governance of transitions to sustainability of our complex global social-ecological system within its inherent resource limitations, and to develop sustainable lifestyles that are practical and appealing in the different regions and cultures of the world.
The global climate change is one of the most dangerous threats to human society in the 21st Century. The dramatic losses have already been observed, and the risks are rising over time. CEECCA region experiences many negative impacts of global warming, which is faster and stronger than the world average. Numerous adaptation and resilience measures are required to protect people, but regional governments often underestimate and ignore the social implications of climate policies.This paper explores what are the priority challenges for CEECCA countries and how to address them effectively.
This book examines how Russia, the world’s most complicated country, is governed. As it resumes its place at the centre of global affairs, the book explores Russia’s overarching strategies, and how it organizes itself (or not) in policy areas ranging from foreign policy and national security to health care, education, immigration, science, sport, agriculture, the environment and criminal justice. The book also discusses the structures and institutions on which Russia relies in order to deliver its goals in these areas of national life, as well as what’s to be done, in policy terms, to improve the country’s performance in its first post-Soviet century. Edited by Irvin Studin, the book includes contributions from a tremendous list of Russia’s leading thinkers and specialists, including Alexei Kudrin, Vladimir Mau, Alexander Auzan, Simon Kordonsky, Fyodor Lukyanov, Natalia Zubarevich and Andrey Melville.
Global warming is recognized as one of the most urgent challenges for human society in the 21st century. The international community has agreed to undertake necessary actions to prevent dangerous anthropogenic impacts on the climatic system. Based on the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014), the UNFCCC Parties adopted the Paris Agreement aimed at limiting the global mean surface temperature rise by “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. Such an ambitious “climatic” target requires unprecedented efforts to reduce carbon emissions to almost zero worldwide this century. Moreover, in order to keep the warming below 1.5°C, the global total emissions must be reduced by 50% or more by 2050 (compared to current levels) and reach net-zero levels afterwards. In practical terms, it means that most of the countries should deeply decarbonize their economies, energy systems, industries, transport, buildings, products and services, while continuing growth of GDP and the standard of living of the population. The developed countries agreed to take the lead in climate change mitigation under the UNFCCC; however, the largest developing countries and emerging economies have started playing substantial roles in carbon emissions nowadays. In this decade, China became the world No.1 CO2 emitter overcoming the United States. The Northeast Asian (NEA) region, including China, Japan, Mongolia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation, is responsible for annual emissions of over 12.4 billion tonnes of CO2 or approximately 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. These countries are huge contributors to global warming today and may increase their share further. The traditional way of combusting the huge fossil fuels reserves (coal, gas, and oil) available in the Northeast Asian region would emit greenhouse gases substantially exceeding the amounts that would warm the planet by 2°C. On the other hand, plentiful sources of renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, tidal, and biomass, etc.) in combination with advanced technologies, investments, and land infrastructure developments can transform the Northeast Asian countries into decarbonized, climate- and environment-friendly economies with sustainable growth and development, fully consistent with the goals and commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. Delays with the deep decarbonization of the Northeast Asian economies will impose higher risks for communities and life-supporting ecosystems, more losses and stranded assets for businesses, and slower technological progress worldwide. The analysis of challenges and opportunities in deep decarbonization pathways for the Northeast Asian region as a whole is presented in this publication. We raise many questions, and yet have not so many answers. By publishing this text, we want to invite all interested and concerned parties to start thinking about and debating these new, but very up-to-date issues of deep transformation of our economies, industries, consumer behavior, and ways of living in climate-neutral patterns, in order that we can urgently meet the need to save our planet and keep it in good shape for the generations to come.
The development and use of Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been a contentios subject for the last three decades. while there has been a number of social science analysis of the issues, this is the first book to assess the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the debate at such wide geographic scale. The various posiotions, for and against GMOs, particularly with regards to trangenic crops, articulated by NGOs in the debate are dissected, classified and juxtaposed to corresponding campaigns. these are discussed in the context of paradigms, including nature fundamentalism and the organic movement, post-colonialism, food sovereignty, anti-globalism, sustainability and feminism. This book also analyses how NGOs interprete the debate and the persuasive communication tactics.
The Paris Climate Agreement established a new target of combating global warming "well below 2 degrees Celsius". This goal will lead to the transformation and deep decarbonization of world economy aiming at nearly zero carbon emissions soon after 2050. The Northeastern Asian countries (responsible for 40% of global CO2 emissions) have all rechnological, resource and ivnestment potential for decarbonization both domestically and internationally, and can show leadership in this efforts on global scale.
The book provides the first in-depth, multidisciplinary study of reurbanization in Russia's Arctic regions, with a specific focus on new mobility patterns, and the resulting birth of new urban Arctic identities in which newcomers and labor migrants form a rising part. It is an invaluable reference for all those interested in current trends in circumpolar regions, showing how the Arctic is becoming more diverse culturally, but also more integrated into globalized trends in terms of economic development, urban sustainability, and migration.
The piblication provides the key lessons learnt from DDPP project experience on designing long-term pathways of low carbon development for 16 world largest economies. The Paris Climate Agreement requires countries to build their concrete vision of the national low-emission transition, consistent with global climate goals that would widely shared by domestic stakeholders and explicitly articulated with domestic socio-economic priorities. We analyze the experience of USA, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, UK, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Brazil in projecting the deep decarbonization scenarios for their economies by 2050.
The book presents a brief summary of the scientific research on deep decarbonization of 16 largest economies by 2050.
This report examines the changes happening in Russia ever since the issue of global warming was introduced on the global agenda. Only today, after the planet has experienced a variety of catastrophic natural disasters, have world leaders and decision makers grown more aware of the urgency of the problem. In Russia, where climate changes have been more significant than globally on average, the government has increased its objectives in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and put forward a number of initiatives and green policy measures to achieve more sustainability in the long term. Russia’s target for greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 is set at 70-75 percent of the base level of 1990, according to the new action plan adopted by the Kremlin. Other states also recognize the problem but their positions differ in the way the issue should be solved. India, China, the U.S. and Brazil, all of which are important players analyzed in the report, find it hard to reach common ground in reaching a globally binding agreement. Whether this will be done ultimately depends on the outcome of the Paris climate change conference. The report also considers the state of the Russian climate change movement from the experience of NGO activities in Russia, provides an overview of the development of the Russian green energy sector with specific success stories and analyzes the prospects of renewable energy development in different regions of the country.
This supplementary material contains case studies presenting specific aspects of the DDPP country pathways. They illustrate and complement the cross-cutting analysis included in the 2015 DDPP synthesis report
The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative global research initiative seeking to understand how individual countries can transition, on a technological, socio-economic and policy “pathway”, to a low-carbon economy consistent with the internationally agreed goal of limiting anthropogenic warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (2°C). Achieving this goal requires that the world cut global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) so that they approach zero between 2050 and 2075, consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)1 2014 findings that to ensure a better-than-even chance of remaining below a 2°C temperature rise, global annual emissions will need to be reduced 42%–57% by 2050 (relative to 2010), and 73%–107% by 2100. This will entail, more than any other factor, the profound transformation of energy systems through steeply reducing carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy. We call this transition “deep decarbonization” and our products, Deep Decarbonization Pathways (DDPs).
The present volume is the fourth issue of the Yearbook series entitled ‘Evolution’. The title of the present volume is ‘From Big Bang to Nanorobots’. In this way we demonstrate that all phases of evolution and Big History are covered in the articles of the present Yearbook. Several articles also present the forecasts about future development.
The main objective of our Yearbook as well as of the previous issues is the creation of a unified interdisciplinary field of research in which the scientists specializing in different disciplines could work within the framework of unified or similar paradigms, using the common terminology and searching for common rules, tendencies and regularities. At the same time for the formation of such an integrated field one should use all available opportunities: theories, laws and methods. In the present volume, a number of such approaches are used.
The volume consists of four sections: Universal Evolutionary Principles; Biosocial Evolution, Ecological Aspects, and Consciousness; Projects for the Future; In Memoriam.
This Yearbook will be useful both for those who study interdisciplinary macroproblems and for specialists working in focused directions, as well as for those who are interested in evolutionary issues of Cosmology, Biology, History, Anthropology, Economics and other areas of study. More than that, this edition will challenge and excite your vision of your own life and the new discoveries going on around us!
The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Achieving the 2°C limit will require that global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) approach zero by the second half of the century. This will require a profound transformation of energy systems by mid-century through steep declines in carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy, a transition we call “deep decarbonization.” Successfully transitioning to a low-carbon economy will require unprecedented global cooperation, including a global cooperative effort to accelerate the development and diffusion of some key low carbon technologies.
This collection is a special issue of Russian Sociological Review dedicated to the concept of border. The concept itself seems to draw attention in many disciplines. As spatial phenomena, borders are always drawn in spaces, while social scientists, philosophers and other academics often have different meanings of space. Recent reconsiderations of space in terms of networks, flows and events, bring even more complexity to the concept. The current volume contributes to both theoretical and empirical studies of borders on various levels. Contributions look at the relevant phenomena from contemporary or historical perspectives, study narratives about borders, reconstructions of the empirical configurations of borders and other objects (such as bodies), exploring how borders emerge and reshape existing spaces, etc. Overall, the issue contributes to the emerging interdisciplinary field of border studies and encourages cross-disciplinary dialogue.
Work-book «The current state of the Russian oil and gas industry» is offered for publication as a training aid for students qualified at the direction 131000 “Oil and gas engineering”. We have described the geology of hydrocarbons, in particular - the geology of heavy oil, unconventional resources of energy, etc. In this workbook there are also methods for the development of deposits of heavy oil and produce shale oil. Special attention was given to unconventional sources of hydrocarbons, exactly, gas hydrates and clayey shale. Novelty of work-book is presentation of oil and gas terminology to students from China. This work-book is published for the first time and will be very useful for self-study students of oil and gas disciplines, as well as oil and gas terms in Russian, English and Chinese. The manuscript is classified as «Approved by UMO on Higher Education in the field of applied geology as a work book for students enrolled in the direction 131000 “Oil and Gas Engineering”».
Climate change is already having a negative impact on agricultural production in Russia, especially grain production, since this sector is perhaps the most dependent on weather and climate factors. This report presents an economic evaluation of the impact of climate change on crop production at the national level and a long-term economic evaluation of the losses, profits, and risks for agriculture throughout Russia. It analyses the situation in the two the major agricultural regions, where the negative effects of climate change are especially pronounced, and examines the prospects for adapting Russia’s agriculture to climate change
The study includes a variety of topics, from a review of the political, legal and institutional frameworks for the development of a “green economy” in Russia, to concrete practices of separate waste collection, the development of renewable energy sources and aspects of environmental education. We tried to look at the process of sustainable development in Russia from diff erent perspectives, including the political and economic background, the legal situation, existing practices of sustainable development and how environmental information circulated, including journalism and education on sustainable development. The result is a broad study, which includes a collection of articles written by both theorists and practitioners of sustainable development in Russia.
We present the European Russia Drought Atlas (ERDA) that covers the East European Plain to the Ural Mountains from 1400–2016 CE. Like the Old World Drought Atlas (OWDA) for the Euro-Mediterranean region, the ERDA is a one-half degree gridded reconstruction of summer Palmer Drought Severity Indices estimated from a network of annual tree-ring chronologies. Ensemble point-by-point regression is used to generate the ERDA with the identical protocols used for developing the OWDA. Split calibration/validation tests of the ERDA indicate that it has significant skill over most of its domain and is much more skillful than the OWDA where they overlap in the western part of ERDA domain. Comparisons to historical droughts over European Russia additionally support the ERDA’s overall validity. The ERDA has been spatially smoothed and infilled using a local regression method to yield a spatially complete drought atlas back to 1400 CE. EOF analysis indicates that there are three principal modes of hydroclimatic variability in the ERDA. After Varimax rotation, these modes correlate significantly with independent climate data sets extending back to the late nineteenth century in a physically interpretable way and relate to atmospheric circulation dynamics of droughts and heatwaves over European Russia based on more recent instrumental data.
The authors quantitatively analyse the long-term dynamics of technological progress from 40,000 BCE and offer projections through the 22nd century. We provide one method to measure technological progress over that time period, using a simple hyperbolic equation, yt = C/(t0 – t), as our model. We define yt as the technological growth rate, measured as number of technological phase transitions per unit of time. Our method measures the worldwide technology dynamic growth with an accuracy of R2 = 0.99. We find the singularity date occurs in the early 21st century and expect a new powerful acceleration of technological development after the 2030s followed by a slow-down in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries. The authors discuss the role of global ageing as one of the main factors in both the technological acceleration and the subsequent deceleration.
Due to their high durability and immobilization properties, cementitious materials have found a considerable application in the design and construction of radioactive waste repositories in the last decades. During cement paste production, organic additives are introduced to modify various properties of cement. The presence of such organic complexants may negatively affect the immobilizing properties of cement with respect to radionuclides. For better understanding and prediction of the effects of interactions between organic molecules and cementitious materials with radionuclides, we have developed several representative models consisting of three principal components: (i) calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) phase - the main binding phase of cement; (ii) gluconate, a simple well-described molecule, as a representative of organic additives; (iii) U(VI), as one of the most studied radionuclides of the actinide series. The C-S-H phase with low Ca/Si ratio (~0.83) typical for â€œlow-pHâ€ and degraded cement pastes has been selected for this modelling study. Structural, and energetic aspects of the sorption processes of uranyl, gluconate, and their mutual correlations on the surface of cement were quantitatively modeled by classical molecular dynamics (MD) and potential of mean force (PMF) calculations. The ternary surface complex formation between uranyl hydroxides and Ca2+ cations at the C-S-H aqueous interfaces is shown to have an important role in the overall sorption process. In the presence of gluconate, U(VI) sorption on C-S-H is facilitated by weakening the Ca2+ binding with the surface. Additionally, Na+ is proven to be an important competitor for certain surface sorption sites and can potentially affect the equilibrium properties of the interface.
The siloxane surface of uncharged clays is known to be hydrophobic, which is supported by strong experimental and theoretical evidence. For the siloxane surface of charged clays, like smectites, the picture is not as clear. We are aiming to clarify this issue by molecular simulations in which smectite surface hydrophobicity is quantified through the separate contribution of the surface itself, and the contribution due to the presence of charge-balancing cations on the surface. In order to explore systematically the effects of the total smectite charge and its distribution in the structure, a series of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations was performed for several models of dioctahedral smectites and compared with the results for uncharged pyrophyllite.
The largest difference between the simulation results for smectite models with naturally present surface counterions and the models where these ions were artificially removed from the surface, while maintaining the same total charge balance of the model, is in the shape of the water coverage. In the former case, full surface wetting is observed and a relatively flat water film is forming on the surface. Its irregularity and thickness is connected with number of ions on the surface. However, in all cases of smectite surfaces artificially devoid of ions, a water droplet is always formed and the wetting is incomplete. The contact angles of the water droplets on charged montmorillonites are very similar to that on uncharged pyrophyllite surface and range roughly between 110o and 90o. These angles are also affected by the distribution of the octahedral and tetrahedral substitutions in the structure and by their ratio. In the case of purely tetrahedral substitutions the contact angle on the bare smectite surface can be as low as ~60o, but still far from complete wetting.
The angular distributions of the H2O dipole vectors as a function of distance from the smectite surface show two preferred surface-oriented types of water molecules when counterions are present, and the total surface is highly hydrophilic. However, for surfaces devoid of ions, a population with dipole angles close to ~90o is dominating, and the smectite surfaces can be considered hydrophobic. It can be thus concluded that, independent of the structural charge, bare smectite surfaces by themselves are either hydrophobic or only moderately hydrophilic. Their experimentally observed highly hydrophilic character is almost entirely due to the charge balancing cations present on the surface.
We performed constant reservoir composition molecular dynamics (CRC-MD) simulations at 323 K and 124 bar to quantitatively study the partitioning of fluid species between the nano- and mesopores of clay and a bulk reservoir containing an equimolar mixture of CO2 and CH4. The results show that the basal (001) and protonated edge (010) surfaces of illite both demonstrate a strong preference for CO2 over CH4 adsorption; that the (001) surfaces show a stronger preference for CO2 than the (010) surfaces, especially with K+ as the exchangeable cation; and that the structuring of the near-surface CO2 by K+ is stronger than that by Na+. The protonated (010) surfaces have a somewhat greater preference for CH4, with the concentration near them close to that in the bulk fluid. The effects of the surfaces on the fluid composition extend to approximately 2.0 nm from them, with the fluid composition at the center of the pore becoming essentially the same as the bulk composition at a pore thickness of ~5.7 nm. The preference of nano- and mesopores bounded by clay minerals for CO2 over CH4 suggests that injection of CO2 into tight reservoirs is likely to displace CH4 into larger pores, thus enhancing its production.
Statistical information on the edge surface area and edge crystallographic orientation of clay nanoparticle surfaces is essential for proper accounting of the protonation-deprotonation reactions as a part of mechanistic surface complexation models. A combination of atomic-force microscopy (AFM) measurements and molecular dynamics computer simulations made it possible to quantify the relative contributions of the most frequently occurring montmorillonite edge surfaces to the total edge surface area. Edge surfaces normal to the  and  crystallographic directions are found to be the most abundant (~60% and ~20%, respectively), in agreement with previous estimations.
Knowledge of supra-glacial debris cover and its changes remain incomplete in the Greater Caucasus, in spite of recent glacier studies. Here we present data of supra-glacial debris cover for 659 glaciers across the Greater Caucasus based on Landsat and SPOT images from the years 1986, 2000 and 2014. We combined semi-automated methods for mapping the clean ice with manual digitization of debris-covered glacier parts and calculated supra-glacial debris-covered area as the residual between these two maps. The accuracy of the results was assessed by using high-resolution Google Earth imagery and GPS data for selected glaciers. From 1986 to 2014, the total glacier area decreased from 691.5±29.0 to 590.0±25.8 km2 (15.8±4.1 %, or ∼0.52 % yr−1), while the clean-ice area reduced from 643.2±25.9 to 511.0±20.9 km2 (20.1±4.0 %, or ∼0.73 % yr−1). In contrast supra-glacial debris cover increased from 7.0±6.4 %, or 48.3±3.1 km2, in 1986 to 13.4±6.2 % (∼0.22 % yr−1), or 79.0±4.9 km2, in 2014. Debris-free glaciers exhibited higher area and length reductions than debris-covered glaciers. The distribution of the supra-glacial debris cover differs between the northern and southern and between the western, central and eastern Greater Caucasus. The observed increase in supra-glacial debris cover is significantly stronger on the northern slopes. Overall, we have observed up-glacier average migration of supra-glacial debris cover from about 3015 to 3130 m a.s.l. (metres above sea level) during the investigated period.
The principal possibility to measure the plasma density and its fluctuations in the ionosphere on ultra-small space vehicles using radiophysical methods is shown. These methods allow us to determine the characteristics of the medium by the properties of the received radiation. It is assumed that each small spacecraft has a satellite navigation receiver as well as a device for emitting and detecting a signal at two multiple frequencies in the radio band. In this approach, information on plasma density is contained in the received phase difference. Radio receivers and radio transmitters on satellites constantly exchange radio signals and then it is possible to determine the plasma density and its fluctuations from the phase shift. Numerical estimates are also made to determine the maximum distance between satellites where one can reliably receive a radio signal.
The Circumpolar North has been changing rapidly within the last decades, and the socioeconomic systems of the Eurasian Arctic and Siberia in particular have displayed the most dramatic changes. Here, anthropogenic drivers of environmental change such as migration and industrialization are added to climate-induced changes in the natural environment such as permafrost thawing and increased frequency of extreme events. Understanding and adapting to both types of changes are important to local and indigenous peoples in the Arctic and for the wider global community due to transboundary connectivity. As local and indigenous peoples, decision-makers and scientists perceive changes and impacts differently and often fail to communicate efficiently to respond to changes adequately, we convened a meeting of the three groups in Salekhard in 2017. The outcomes of the meeting include perceptions of how the three groups each perceive the main issues affecting health and well-being and recommendations for working together better.