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WIREs Clim Change
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Climate history of Russia and the Soviet Union

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Russia and the Soviet Union bear great significance for global climate history, but scholarship on this region is still only beginning to develop as a field. While the historiographies of other geographical locations have matured over the past decade, works concerning Russia thus far have appeared in a piecemeal and somewhat disconnected fashion, not yet cohering in a systematic way. Instead, there exist several insightful threads in the environmental history literature on climate. Scholars have examined the history of climate science in Russia, extending from the research of the Academy of Sciences in the eighteenth century to the global thinking about climate change in the late twentieth century. Social scientists have explored the historical roots of Russia's contemporary climate policy. Disasters related to climate have long attracted the attention of historians, though newer works are more in tune with contemporary scholarship on vulnerability and risk. There has also been movement to analyze the varied experiences of the cold in Russia over the long haul. Making an asset out of its apparent lower stage of development, the field of Russian climate history has an opportunity to directly enter advanced scholarly conversations by focusing on the ubiquitous human experiences with climate. Doing so could allow Russian climate history to acquire a position as an innovator among global climate histories.

This article is categorized under:

  • Climate, History, Society, Culture > World Historical Perspectives
Map of vegetation zones in the former Soviet Union (Kish, , p. 3)
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