Regional Environmental Changes in Siberia and Their Global Consequences

Type Book Section - Human Dimensions of Environmental Change in Siberia
Title Regional Environmental Changes in Siberia and Their Global Consequences
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 251-302
Publisher Springer
This chapter provides background on socioeconomic contexts followed by synthesis of remote sensing-based case studies highlighting major human influences on the Siberian landscape during three eras: Soviet (1917–1991), early post-Soviet transformation (starting after 1991), and recent/emerging. During 1975–2001, Landsat-based LCLUC data in East Siberia showed characteristic patterns including: high rates of logging during the Soviet era that declined abruptly and remained low after 1989, a decline in agriculture (and subsequent reforestation) beginning prior to 1991, and a decline in mature conifer and increase in deciduous forest. In the far north, multiple remote sensing data over time demonstrated the degradation and mortality of the larch forests surrounding the Norilsk nickel mining complex. In East Siberia, multiple remote sensing data showed that oil and gas reconnaissance directly disturb the landscape but that their indirect influence on increased fire occurrence is of greater consequence. Along the Siberia-China Amur River border, replanting and the almost complete removal of mature conifer are evident in Landsat data on the Chinese side, whereas fire predominates on the Siberian side. In the recent/emerging era, LCLUC in Siberia is being influenced by greater transnationalism and increased demand for wood from other Asian countries. Oil and gas development is shifting to East Siberia. Pipelines and infrastructure are being built across Siberian lands directly to the Pacific and to China. Remote sensing–based analyses have been integral to increased knowledge of past and emerging trends in human dimensions of environmental change across the vast geographic region of Siberia.

Related studies