“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.
20/03/2023 7:04 PM

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Where is The World’s Coldest City?

Yakutsk city, located about 450 km south of the Arctic Circle, is the capital city of The Sakha Republic in Russia. It is the world’s coldest city. According to the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 269,601; the figure is estimated to have grown to at least 300,000. Yakutsk serves as a port for the Lena River which is one of its major functions. It is served by two airports, the Yakutsk and the Magan Airport. The city also boasts of being among the biggest suppliers of diamonds.

How Cold is Yakutsk?

Famous outdoor Krestyanskiy Market in Yakutsk, where local people and tourists buy fresh frozen fish and Siberian delicacy. 

Yakutsk stands on stilts due to the shifting nature of permafrost which would make buildings collapse otherwise. It is also the largest city that sits on permafrost. This means that water and gas have to be delivered in giant over ground pipes that are very captivating to visitors.

Yakutsk in winter.

The city has an annual mean temperature of -8.8º C, but during winter, the temperatures often go below -40º C. Summers albeit short are quite warm with temperatures exceeding +30 °C. The difference in seasonal temperature in Yakutsk is the greatest in the world. December and January are extremely cold recording mean temperatures of -40.4º C, and -41.5º C respectively. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −64.4 °C on 5th February 1891.

Natural Environment

Horses in the snow-covered landscape surrounding Yakutsk.

Most of Yakutsk is covered by snow forest referred to as taiga in Russian. The other part of the vegetation is forest-tundra, arctic semi-desert and tundra. A big part of the terrain is mountainous. Flora and fauna in Yakutsk have maintained its purity with little interference from human-made conditions.

The tundra region is covered with reindeer moss while the taiga region is home to spruce, pine, cedar, pine, birch trees among others. Several flowers are endemic to this region, e.g. the Lilium pensylvanicum.

Wildflowers growing in Yakutsk.

The lands in Yakutia inhabits several breeds of deer, moos, bears, walrus among other animals. The rivers are rich with fish and other marine life forms. There are about 250 bird species in Yakutsk, being the only city with conducive habitats for the Siberian black crane and the gull.

Visiting Yakutsk

A traditional Yysah festive ceremony of meeting summer by Yakut people in Yakutsk. 

Locals are very friendly in Yakutsk, looking out for visitors not to venture out in the cold unprotected. Yakutsk has captured the interests of outsiders mainly for wearing the title of coldest city in the world with so much pride. However, this is not the only interesting factor about the city.

Interior of the National Museum of Yakutsk. Exhibits of primitive people in the museum.

There is a lot to see in Yakutsk, starting with the beautiful countryside, and the cryogenic museums. Several museums exhibit the history of the country and its people, but of greatest interest to the tourists are the cryogenic museums that conserve items from the ice age. The centrepiece of this display is the head of a woolly mammoth which is transported to different museums in the region depending on the tourism seasons.

Threats to the Ecosystem

The city faces a lot of threats to the ecosystem from man-induced conditions. Logging has led to a lot of tree loss as companies clear entire sites instead of spreading the harvesting in different areas. There is also pollution of water, soil and air that is caused by the nickel smelting in the city of Norilsk. Tourist camps also produce a lot of liquid waste that harms the ecosystem. The taiga is at risk from oil drilling which requires clearing of land for the plant and the construction of roads that lead to the plants.

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