Shouldn't these countries benefit from it? Shouldn't they want heat to melt the ice?

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    It might be a short term benefit, but they are part of a global system. If everyone else is being disrupted by extreme weather you will eventually feel the consequences. Also, what do you do after most of the ice melts?
    – Alexei
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 6:02
  • 23
    If you are interested in the effects of global warming on Northern countries you would do better to ask in the Earth Sciecne stack exchange. But in short "warmer" doesn't equal "better".
    – James K
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 6:09
  • 2
    There might indeed be a case for global warming causing a larger decrease in global coldness-related deaths than the simultaneous increase in heat-related deaths. This is a talking point of for instance Bjørn Lomborg.
    – Steeven
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 8:52
  • 2
    Russia is already benefitting from the Northern Sea Route having become more navigable. Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 15:18
  • 17
    If you were cold, would you support lighting the house you're in on fire?
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 15:45

5 Answers 5


Some short-term models of the economic effects of global warming do point to benefits for the Northern countries. In the long run however, the models tend to point to "everybody loses". But like with all long-run projections, it's harder to be certain of country-specific effects.

From https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0282-y

  • 14
    Also: Ice melt leads to sea level rise. Losing land mass and coastal development offsets whatever benefits there might be from a warmer local climate. And there are places like Bangladesh that will get submerged quickly, and areas that will become too hot to live in. Refugees will be flowing all over the place. Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 8:13
  • As sea levels rise more and more water is condensed into vapor forming more clouds which leads to more rainfall in deserts that causes them to blossom with plant life. Also the increase in cloud formation caused by the raising sea levels blocks heat from the sun and cools the earth. It is a cycle that takes thousands of years and can’t be interpreted using 100 years of data. I will be sharing these insights with USCAN and expect that all initiatives to end this natural cycle of global warming and cooling will end.
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:26
  • 3
    No offense, but check out those papers for economic damage; it's a bunch of gobbeldy gook. The "Social Cost of Carbon" is a 5th grade attempt to set value to something that is nearly un-measurable. The fundamental assumption is the people will not change the crops they are growing as temperatures change. That is obviously wrong. When Russian farmers can go from growing turnips and rye to corn and soybeans, they are going to be much better off economically, even if turnips and rye don't grow so well any more.
    – kingledion
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 20:13
  • @Kris If it were a natural cycle as you describe, I'd expect a sine curve or something similar. The data doesn't look like that.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 21:32
  • @wizzwizz4 cooling and warming cycles that take tens of thousands of years cannot be charted based on a couple hundred years of data.
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 22:02

Presumably yes:

  • shift of climate should move more productive climate zones to those countries
  • the carbon dioxide does not simply increase temperature, but instead retains heat, thus result is disproportionally strong in winters and nights (seems fine...)
  • Northern sea routes become viable, thus shortening the trade route between Asia and Europe
  • one exports carbohydrates, they are being combusted, CO2 level increase, ice thaws, more more natural resources in Arctic become much easier to explore - well, cynically I'd say that in a way this business model is sustainable


  • Rain is much harder to predict than temperature. It applies both to weather reports and IPCC models. I'm not saying that those countries would be afflicted by unfavourable change of rain patterns, I'm just saying it's a lottery.
  • even in the biggest approximation shift of climate zones is not so unquestionably desirable for Russia, as its southern regions (ex. Caucasus) would actually lose their favourability
  • Those sparsely populated countries are not even close to utilising all arable land they have right now, so that getting more of it would not change much
  • Infrastructure build for different conditions. Let's say there is an inhospitable place with permafrost that each summer turns in to mud. Warmer climate would be theoretically highly desired, just if it actually started to thaw all those buildings may sink a bit. (which is slightly bad for a building and disaster for a railway line)
  • People mention global disruption, which is a bit tricky. Sure, an economic crisis may harm seriously such countries. Nevertheless, I'm somewhat sceptical about climate refugees. We haven't been accepting so far people from Arab peninsula on the grounds that temperature there can exceed 50 Celsius. Even if the climate become really nasty - Russia is not the most welcoming place for refugees, Canada would be indirectly shielded by US, while in Scandinavia it may be a serious problem, but it depends on future political climate (depends at which moment imported political instability makes local population go berserk)
  • 13
    "if it actually started to thaw all those buildings may sink a bit.". It's not theoretical; it really is actually happening: Melting Permafrost and the Housing Crisis in the Arctic - CityLab Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 12:55
  • 1
    An additional item that might be added is that warming is just one symptom of the Earth's rapidly changing climate. The far more problematic issue (in my mind) is the increasing acidity of the oceans which could disrupt the food chain. A collapse of the food chain would be catastrophic for many animal groups.
    – CramerTV
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 22:25

This is partly why some people have switched to "climate change". Warming sounds good, but the transition in the ecosystem can be pretty rough. For example, much worse forest fires in Russia.

Russia also built cities and resource extraction infrastructure on permafrost. This is now melting, causing considerable damage.

  • Why do you think warming sounds good? Much of the Earth is IMHO too darned warm for comfort already.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 17:48
  • @jamesqf "sounds good" when you think Russia as in Siberia and Permafrost... also a good many people like to make holidays in warm areas, to them the association can easily be good at first... until they remember that they only like the heat when next to the pool. Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 16:26
  • @Frank Hopkins: As I said, there are plenty of warm areas (some of us would say an oversupply) on Earth as it is. Those who like that are perfectly welcome to move there.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 18:15

I live in Northern Canada, so I have a dog in this hunt, so to speak.

We already see effects of global warming, and while some of them are presumably more pleasant (no, we don't see as much extreme cold in the winter anymore), you might be surprised at some of the unexpected consequences.

  • We are seeing milder winters, but they're also much snowier and cloudier, since we no longer see the massive Arctic High Pressure systems that used to sit over us for weeks to give us cold, clear, calm (but sunny!) winter weather.

  • We are seeing more invasive insects coming up from the south. These would normally be killed off in severe winter weather but now range further than ever before. A pine beetle infestation killed thousands of hectares of trees not far from where I live. Those dead trees now pose a massive fire hazard.

  • You'd think that warmer weather would open up agricultural opportunities, too, but in Canada that is limited; much of the area that's warming the most sits in the Canadian Shield, an area of solid rock that comprises most of the country. The lack of arable soil is a much greater challenge to overcome than just the temperature itself. I believe much of Siberia faces that same issue.

  • Even on top of that, the towns in the far north are all built on permafrost, and as we lose that the towns are slowly sinking into the ground. The airport in Inuvik, Northwest Territories recently had to spend CDN$22 million to replace a runway that had become unusable because parts of it had sunk due to melting permafrost. That's a dramatic example but many towns are facing similar issues.

  • 2
    WRT farming, it takes a LONG time to produce decent soil. Consider much of the northeastern US & Canada, where good soil is pretty much limited to valleys, 10K years after the last glaciation. For the rest, there are those of us - and other creatures - who really like cooler weather, and ecosystems that are adapted to it.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 17:53
  • And your forests are burning. Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 22:35

Russia and Canada do support global warming, as shown in Crude Oil Production - Countries - List

At 10 million barrels per day, Russia is second only to the US (12 million) in terms of daily extraction of crude oil. Canada is in 5th place with 4 million barrels per day.

Most of that oil is used as fuel, generating atmospheric CO₂.

According to World Beef Production: Ranking Of Countries - Beef2Live | Eat Beef * Live Better, Russia and Canada are only 11th and 12th in beef cattle, well behind the US, which produces 5 times as much as the other two countries combined. Obviously these two countries need to improve their methane gas emissions.

  • 6
    Does eating sugar mean you support getting diabetes? You haven't shown they support global warming, only that they contribute to it, which could be for any of a number of reasons (the primary ones probably being money and convenience). One might argue the definition of "support" includes contributing to something, but usually it would mean approving of it in this context (which also applies to this question, which talks about benefiting and wanting).
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 15:54
  • 5
    @NotThatGuy Maybe I'm the one missing something, but I'm pretty sure that last sentence suggests that this answer is tongue-in-cheek.
    – jgon
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 20:43
  • @jgon One could argue part of a post being tongue-in-cheek doesn't make the whole post tongue-in-cheek. Also, one problem with tongue-in-cheek posts is often half the people (which I'm not ashamed to admit includes myself sometimes) don't realise they're actually tongue-in-cheek. Another problem is they can distract from answers actually answering the question. For a site intended to provide actual answers to questions, those two problems are quite detrimental.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 0:53
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    @AndrewGrimm, the whole question shouldn't be a question. It is very shallow with no research. Russia and Canada are nothing but ice and cold, which are bad, so global warming will make it all better and everything will be wonderful, so why aren't their governments promoting that process? I downvoted the question; it wouldn't let me downvote my own answer. (The question is currently +15 -8 votes.) Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 22:45
  • 1
    @AndrewGrimm Ah ok, you wrote "content" not "comment" so I thought you were justifying it as an answer.
    – JBentley
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 11:47

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