This question concerns this Alternative Earth.

To make a certain fictional country which occupies the northern part of Russia more interesting, I want to make agriculture feasible in Siberia and to increase the population density of this region. This will require several climatic changes.

Let's start with the situation in Real Life. Siberia is mainly covered in forests that slowly turn into forest tundras and tundras when travelling northwards. Siberia's climate is relatively harsh - temperatures can reach -40 degrees celsius in winter and 40 degrees celsius in summer.

As you can see, Siberia and northeastern Europe are not very good areas for agriculture.

I want the northern part of Eurasia to look like this:

Brown - important mountain ranges (hills and smaller mountain ranges have not been accounted for)

Light brown - Tundra/grassland. Dirt permafrost tundra in the north that slowly turns into a grassland tundra with some shrubs and reindeer and sheep pastures.

Pale brownish green - Forest tundra with reindeer, sheep and cattle pastures. Slow southward transistion from barren tundra landscape to forest landscape with some agriculture.

Dark green - Taiga landscape. While forestry (logging) prevails over agriculture, large cities are surrounded by "agricultural islands" that become more and more common when travelling southwards.

Light green - Loose agricultural landscape interrupted by coniferous and birch forests; transistion from taiga to farmland.

Yellow - Farmland. Wheat and barley prevail; some large pastures (especially close to mountain ranges). Hops gardens, apple orchards and even wineyards appear in the southernmost (coastal) parts; slow transistion to forest steppe and steppe in the south. Coniferous (coastal) and mixed forests.

My question is:

  • What geographical or climatical factors need to change to allow for such a landscape distribution (Consider the higher Urals!)? I imagine something similar to a gulf stream in the Polar Sea or in the Pacific Ocean or reducing the axial tilt of the Earth. It is necessary to somehow move the permafrost border northward.

  • How would this affect the climate of other parts of the world? After all, I reduced the area of the taiga and increased population density. Will Europe have to turn into a steppe or a desert?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ You really need to only be asking one question per post. Also, this is far too many images. I mean, I appreciate that you're trying to be thorough, but 1-2 images, maybe 3 tops would make this post much more palatable. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2016 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ Are you open to relatively minor changes to geography? E.g. the Yellow Sea reaching as far inland as central Mongolia. $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Oct 3, 2016 at 16:42
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Again, please minimize the number of pictures. Its tough to comprehend your question completely when I have to work my mouse wheel in overdrive to get back and forth from your background info to your actual questions. Please compress and repost the question. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Oct 3, 2016 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


You don't need to do anything specific. Even by lowering our gas emission, climate changes will have a significant impact on the region by the end of the century. This is actually one of the most optimist and possible scenario. Other scenarios have an even warmer Siberia.

As for the impact of the Ural mountains: the Arctic is going to be much warmer since it warms faster than anywhere else on the planet. Siberia will get a large portion of its precipitations from that ocean.

Europe won't turn into a desert but droughts will become more problematic in Mediterranean countries.


I propose two changes:

Global warming

The only way to turn that much of Siberia into farmland, is to make the whole planet warmer. You need to turn the climate of marginal farmland near Novosibirsk into excellent farmland like Omaha. To do that Novosibirsk needs to be 5C warmer in the summer, and 10C warmer in the winter, or thereabouts.

Paratethys Sea

You may also notice from those climate links, that Omaha gets about twice the rain as Novosibirsk. To get more rain into western Siberia, you will need an ocean. The Paratethys Sea lasted from the Jurassic to the Oligocene and covered more or less the Balkans to the Aral Sea. Specifically, if there were a large body of water covering most of present day Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, it would provide more summer rainfall in western Siberia.

If you extended the sea to cover most or all of Kazakhstan as well, it would also have the benefit of moderating temperatures in west Siberia. This would provide the 'cline' in farmland that you see in your map, where farmland extends farther north in west than in east Siberia.

There is a third beneficial effect too. Omaha doesn't have apple orchards. Despite its excellent agricultural climate, it gets too cold in the winter for apples. A large sea moderating temperatures would help to keep west Siberia warmer in the winter.


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