The desert returns. The end of the great plan to transform the climate in Ukraine

Пустыня возвращается. Конец великого плана преобразования климата на Украине

© courtesy of the artistSuffocating, over thirty Celsius, the Ukrainian summer with the sudden terrible thunderstorms gave way to unusually hot autumn. Even people far from science, agree that the climate has significantly changed. And this directly resonates with the recent news that Ukraine became a major exporter of charcoal in Noliki experiment on climate mitigation initiated 20 Oct 1948 rolls down to zero. Of course, global warming takes its toll. But specifically in Ukraine it is aggravated by the massive cutting of forest plantations and forests, the drying up of hundreds of small rivers, uncontrolled agriculture, which tends to squeeze out of the land. Someone brought it millions. And brought millions of problems that seemed long forgotten.

In the description of the climate of new Russia (i.e. the Northern black sea region from the Danube to the don) the beginning of the XX century, the great geographer Pyotr Semyonov Tyan-Shan reported that the greatest part of this space “represents in General, a monotonous steppe, in the East imperceptibly merging with Astrakhan and the Aralo-Caspian steppes. Such conditions give great scope to the winds, which are here characterized by their strength.”

Because of this, the climate was unstable, the air is dry, bezwoda hard summer rains are not enough. In Ekaterinoslav province, according to the scientist, the fate of the harvest is then solved precipitation in April and may and then there was a continuous drought.

But it is bad.

Ploughed land, lost grass cover, raised enormous clouds of dust, “black storms”. In 1891 the South of the Empire experienced an unprecedented drought and the ensuing famine. A year later, around the South-East of modern Ukraine swept natural sandstorm to a dying Earth in the movie “interstellar”.

Geologist and soil scientist Vasily Dokuchayev describes one of the cases: “Not only was completely disrupted and blown from the fields of thin snow cover, and loose soil bare of snow and dry as ashes, shot occurs at 18 degrees below zero. Clouds dark earth dust filled the frosty air, making roads, raising gardens — in some places the trees were recorded at a height of 1.5 m, lay shafts and humps on village streets and obstructs traffic on the Railways: even had to tear the train station from the drifts of black dust, mixed with snow”.

Droughts, instantly evaporating moisture from the soil, water and plants, was well known to inhabitants of the Kiev region, although it is North of Ukraine and there are major rivers. Signs steppe Dokuchaev noted in the Poltava region.

Пустыня возвращается. Конец великого плана преобразования климата на Украине

© provided avtoroma in the present Kherson region of movement of huge masses of soil began, and after countless flocks of sheep barons Pfalz-FEIN has consumed the grass in the Oleshky Sands. Sandstorms local old-timers still remember the 60th years of the last century, when a lot was done in order to stop them. And only 40-50 years earlier to stop was nothing.

The severe drought of 1921 caused the famine in the Volga region, embedded in historical memory. But the drought was raging not only there. According to official statistics, affected 35 provinces, including the southern Ukraine and the Crimea.

In the spring of 1928 in Central and South-Eastern regions of Ukraine, Stalingrad and Astrakhan regions of the Russian Federation the winds picked up on the air more than 15 million tons of topsoil, plowing Stanchev and causing crop failures 1929-1931 years. The entire steppe zone again there was a terrible famine that had been exacerbated by the surplus. Policy of him began to squeeze much later, and then it was a phenomenon among good friends. Another tragedy for people emerging from war, happened in 1946. Again affected Ukraine, the North Caucasus, the Russian black soil region, the Volga region, Western Siberia and Kazakhstan, for which in 1947 became a black time.

And 20 October 1948 came the decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the CPSU (b) from No. 3960 “On the plan for field-protective afforestation, the introduction of grass crop rotation, construction of ponds and reservoirs to ensure high and stable harvests in steppe and forest-steppe regions of the European part of the Soviet Union”.

For simplicity, it was called the “Stalinist plan to transform nature”.

It was decided to end the drought by planting of forest plantations and the establishment of irrigation systems. The plan was for 15 years (1950-1965), was to lay the forest on an area of 5.7 million hectares, generally a territory about Croatia. 3.6 million hectares was given to the forces and means of collective farms, 1.5 million hectares are cut, the Ministry of forestry of the USSR, which was to deal with sparsely wooded areas and naudojami. The rest was dosagebuy farms.

In General, climate change was assumed on the area of 120 million hectares, it is a good five European countries.

The author of the concept of “grass farming” was mentioned above, Vasily Dokuchaev. His ideas were complemented by prominent agronomists Pavel Kostychev, Basil Williams, the practical work of George Vysotsky and others.

The Dokuchaev here can be called ascetic. Over the years of observation, he collected a huge material, paying special attention to the Chernozem soils. In fact, he established the concept of “black earth”.Even after the famine of 1891, when all were engaged in fundraising, Vasily for the first time voiced a prescription how to prevent unhappiness reads a public lecture, published some articles in the Government Gazette, and then releases them in the form of the book “Our steppes before and now”.

He noted that all the problems have arisen due to improper management. Black earth band was subjected to “persistently and steadily progressive desiccation” due to the ploughing of lowlands and depressions, once the feeding water of small steppe rivers, deforestation.

According to soil scientists at the beginning of the XX century, even in the Poltava province, the forest area in a number of counties was reduced from 30 to 3-4%. Accordingly began to slip away soil to silt up toward streams, rivers became shallow. “Not that vzhe Myrhorod, Khorol-rcca not the same” — complained Pavlo Tychina in “Song of the tractor driver” in the 30 years since the situation has not changed.

Then the Soil Institute of the USSR found that during the spring snowmelt from the fields of southern and Central European part of the country washed away about 140 million tons of earth.

Dokuchaev suggested that practically the entire complex of measures already executed by the Soviet authorities. Regulation of large rivers — the Dnieper, Dnestr, Volga, don, first, to reduce spring flooding. Peregorazhivanie dams small rivers and steppe areas — planting “live fences”. All sand, mounds and uncomfortable, he offered to plant a forest, to dig wells and to introduce the practice of artificial irrigation.

Пустыня возвращается. Конец великого плана преобразования климата на Украине

© provided autoreactivity was conducted in the late 20-ies in the area of Astrakhan. Had on hand the results of the work of the research station “Kamennaya steppe” near Voronezh, created by Dokuchaev. And most importantly, there was an example of absolute success — Velikoanadolskiy forestry in the Donbass, which existed from 1843, specifically for testing purposes and to promote opportunities steppe afforestation.In the summer of 1948, when the newspaper “Pravda” gave a programmatic article, started to work out a Grand plan to the last detail.

First Deputy Minister of forestry of the USSR Vasily Kolganov in “Essays on the history of Soviet forestry,” pointed out that in the framework of the project only in 1948-1950 he was requested 1,481 billion rubles of capital investments. It was supposed to land 1118 thousand hectares of forest, increasing it, particularly in the areas of South and South-East of Ukraine, twice. On the lands of collective farms and the state forest Fund, state farms of the USSR was provided from 1948 to 1955 create almost a million hectares of forest plantations of all types, occupying 4% of the total area of arable land.

In addition to afforestation of ravines, the creation of the state of forest belts and forest plantations in the state forest Ministry of forestry undertook in 1949-1955 years to consolidate the Sands on the area of 322 thousand hectares of Them planted an ordinary pine tree, creating, in particular, forests in the Kherson area, huge green areas of Kyiv region, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, dominated by sandy soils.

The plantation is mainly laid an oak, rightly judging that standing oak will be long and the weight of the wood gives it a lot. For example, on both banks of the Seversky Donets from Belgorod to the mouth appeared the state forest strip width of 30 meters. Thus was laid the welfare of future independent Ukrainian charcoal burners and sellers of firewood.

In 1954 at the initiative of the Bureau of the scientific-technical Union of forestry and forest industry were asked to revise the ages of felling, other forestry and isorganization regulations and begin drafting a plan of forestry development for 10-15 years.

The first master plan was made in the USSR, and he became an exemplary basis for the other republics. In 1956 the area planted in the Ukraine cut off the area cut down to 182%.From the mid-50s launched a huge project to create a cascade of the Dnieper reservoirs, this work was completed in 1980. In 1961-72 years constructed the North-Crimean irrigation and watering of the canal that gave water to the arid lands of the Kherson region and Crimea.

The last major (but not catastrophic) drought happened in 1972.

But in the nearly thirty-year period, according to the observations of scientists, the average change was close to zero: aligns the annual average temperature, number of dry days from year to year remained about the same, but in General they became less than in the first half of the twentieth century. Gathered over 45 years of data on soil moisture in the agricultural regions of Ukraine show a significant growth in the period of 1960-80s

1998 was the last year without drought.

In the two thousandth the process faster and faster rolled back to the starting point, and then beyond. The agrometeorology notes that dry periods occur in the Western regions, and the trend of their distribution in the North and West is clearly seen. And in the South, where the works of the ancestors of the wreck, including due to the strongly increased cost of gas, started again desertification and rising temperatures of the summer months for around 40 degrees.

2018 was the hottest for the last 139 years, but the previous three were not worse. According to forecasts, in the coming decades average temperatures will continue to grow, and in Kiev will become to breathe as South Australia.

But can’t complain. The myth of the “agricultural power” and “European integration”, when the EU without any restrictions leaving only the raw wood, charcoal, briquettes. And at the end of the XIX century, the great Dokuchaev said the words that fall exactly on the current situation in Ukraine:

“It is just such torn, naglasena, an abnormal state is our southern steppe zemledelenie, even now, admittedly, non-exchange game, which gambling activities every year, of course, should increase.”Dmitry Zaborin

Share Button