The aim of this research project is to explore the development of Soviet climate science post-1945, with a particular focus on the debates concerning humankind’s influence on climate systems and on Soviet contributions to related international initiatives. The research will also examine the intellectual legacies of these debates for Russia’s positioning in post-1991 climate discussions.

Anthropogenic climate change is arguably the most significant threat confronting humankind in the early 21st Century. The intellectual history underpinning our growing insight into the nature and scale of the problem has received marked attention in recent years and yet the specifics of the Soviet Union’s contribution in this respect have been marginalised in the English-language literature. This lacuna is significant not only in view of the Soviet Union’s (and latterly the Soviet successor states’) size and importance for global environmental systems, but also because of the contribution made by Soviet scientists to the international understanding and associated debate in this area post-1945.

The project is funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/P004431/1) and brings together academics from the University of Birmingham (UK), University of Manchester (UK), National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). The research also involves the UK’s Royal Geographical Society as a collaborating partner. It is funded for the period 2017-2020.

For more details see the Research Councils UK Gateway to Research database.

Photo credits: Jon Oldfield