Russia’s Artic University sets sail

Russias North Arctic Federal University sets sail in the arctic
Photo: UArctic

Russia’s North Arctic Federal University (NAFU) Marine Geography School arrives today in Kaliningrad to study hydrometeorology and focus on the effects of climate change in the rapidly melting Arctic region.

Climate change is rapidly melting the frozen north, turning into a new center of emerging conflict between global powers. The US, Russia and China are all major players in the region with interests in controlling the region’s emerging shipping lanes and natural resources.

The program is focused on building expertise among the next generation of Russian meteorologists on the strategically important territory. Russia seeks to develop its economic interests in the region, which sports major oil supplies and the potential to upend global shipping with the melting of a northeast sea passage. To further these goals, Moscow has increased infrastructure and military investment to prepare the region for easier access once it becomes more hospitable and ensures their security presence there remains strong.

Medium-term, the students will likely support Moscow’s ambiguous line towards climate change by downplaying the effects of global warming, which benefits Russia strategically. Long-term, this could seriously harm Russia’s global standing if other nations believe Moscow is purposefully slacking on curbing global warming for selfish gain.

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