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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 9, No 4 (2016)
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GEOGRAPHY

4-13 279
Abstract
Differences between countries are explained by a multiplicity of factors that are decisive as the common culture. In particular, the Mediterranean Sea, is a symbolic meeting place between very different cultures. Among the countries that overlook the Mediterranean see of this special attention can be given to cultural differences between Italy and the countries of North Africa (Egypt, Libya and the Maghreb countries like Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). The proximity geography and contemporary socio - political events require an analysis of the socio - economic interactions between North African and Italian communities.
14-32 204
Abstract
A favourable economic-geographical position (EGP) of regions and cities is one of the factors of their socio-economic development. Economic agents can take advantages of their proximity to the major markets of goods and services, thereby reducing their transport costs and increasing their profitability. In the sphere of innovation, proximity to the innovation centres may also significantly affect the creation of new knowledge and technologies, due to the existence of tacit knowledge and knowledge spillovers. The authors propose the term ‘innovation-geographical position’ by analogy with EGP. It has been demonstrated that location matters to regional innovation output. If there is 1 % more new technologies in neighbouring regions, there are approximately 0.35–0.58 % more newly created technologies in the target region. Proximity to the world centres of new technologies has even greater impact.
33-47 181
Abstract

This paper reviews the changes in river flow of the European part of Russia during the low-flow period, characterizing groundwater flow feeding. River flow oscillations were analyzed for winter and summer periods. Statistical analyses of average low flow and the minimum monthly summer and winter discharges for 1946–1977 and 1978–2010 showed significant positive trends for all parameters of low-water period. The greatest increase is observed in the Middle Volga, where low flow has almost doubled.

The low flow discharges increased by up to 50–70 % in the center of the European part of Russia and the Upper Don and its tributaries, ranging from 0 to 30 % for the northern rivers. Despite the low flow increase, the lack of water in 2010 and 2014 caused economic damage. It is shown that the observed hydrological hazards occur as a result of snow melt draughts and water management instability.

ENVIRONMENT

48-62 212
Abstract
Modern human societies have accumulated considerable power to modify their environment and the earth’s system climate as the whole. The most significant environmental changes are found in the urbanized areas. This study considers coherent changes in vegetation productivity and land surface temperature (LST) around four northern West Siberian cities, namely, Tazovsky, Nadym, Noyabrsk and Megion. These cities are located in tundra, forest-tundra, northern taiga and middle taiga bioclimatic zones correspondingly. Our analysis of 15 years (2000–2014) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data revealed significantly (1.3 °C to 5.2 °C) warmer seasonally averaged LST within the urbanized territories than those of the surrounding landscapes. The magnitude of the urban LST anomaly corresponds to climates found 300–600 km to the South. In the climate change perspective, this magnitude corresponds to the expected regional warming by the middle or the end of the 21st century. Warmer urban climates, and specifically warmer upper soil layers, can support re-vegetation of the disturbed urban landscapes with more productive trees and tall shrubs. This afforestation is welcome by the migrant city population as it is more consistent with their traditional ecological knowledge. Survival of atypical, southern plant species encourages a number of initiatives and investment to introduce even broader spectrum of temperate blossoming trees and shrubs in urban landscapes. The unintended changes of the urban micro-climates in combination with knowledgeable urban planning could transform the Siberian pioneer settlements into places of belonging.
63-76 202
Abstract
The paper provides a brief analysis of research on the impact of global climate change on human health. Using Tatarstan as an example, the paper discusses medical and demographic consequences of the extreme heat wave of the summer of 2010. Assessment of the Volga Federal District (VFD) bioclimate conducted with the help of certain biometeorological parameters allowed evaluating modern global and regional changes of weather-climatic conditions. The main emphasis was placed on spatial and temporal analysis of both the integral pathogenicity index (I) and its individual components for the district territory. In VFD, aggravating weather conditions increase from southwest to northeast. Summer months are associated with comfort weather conditions. In winter, the air temperature pathogenicity index and interdiurnal temperature fluctuations contribute the greatest to I; in summer, the role of cloudiness and humidity pathogenicity indices increases. The contribution of wind speed and interdiurnal pressure fluctuations to I is insignificant in all seasons. Analysis of the frequency distribution of I showed that comfort weather conditions (over 50 % of cases) occur in May–August, aggravating weather conditions occur in March-Appril, and harsh weather conditions in more than 50 % of cases occur in January–February and November–December. Calculation of biometeorological indices allows forecasting risk of thermal hazard under extreme meteorological conditions.

Sustainability

77-91 188
Abstract
The paper assesses transformation of environmental situation in Moscow and citizens’ attitude toward those changes. It analyzes a mass poll of 800 Moscovites conducted in June–July 2015. The research was aimed at identifying the correlation between subjective perception of residents and objective spatial and environmental differentiation in Moscow as well as assessing the potential of Moscovites’ involvement in solution of environmental problems. Air pollution caused by production enterprises and cars, solid household waste and waste incineration plants were given special consideration. The article analyzes how Moscovites perceive problems of the whole city and of their own districts.
92-100 228
Abstract
All Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were requested to communicate intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in a clear, transparent and understandable way before the Conference of the Parties (known as COP21) held in Paris in 2015. The Contributions were supposed to be balanced and comprehensive to ensure sustainable development and expected to include finance, technology requires, technology transfer and capacity building aiming at mitigation and adaptation. This research focuses on investigating the INDCs prepared by countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), one of the most water-scarce and dry regions in the world. Following a content analysis, this research has found that INDCs from the region have not been able to reflect the desired output. Submissions were also not timely and not sufficiently ahead of time. Many countries were not able to disclose the current status. INDCs can play a significant role by providing objective, timely, and reliable information, which is missing at present in the countries from MENA.


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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)