Vladimir Ivanovicn Vernadsky (to 150th anniversary of his birth)
Theory and methodology
The world economic transition is analyzed as a large macro-technological transformation during the period when the downward phase of the 5th Kondratiev’s cycle is replaced by the upward phase of the 6th cycle. The crises of “creative destruction” which accompany the ongoing world economic transition are evaluated and interpreted. Dominant and satellite (dependent and subordinate) macro-regions are described, as well as the spatial networks within the system of the international division of labor which developed towards the end of the 5th Kondratiev’s cycle.
Geographical global studies
The article deals with the tertiary sector and the predominant role of service industries in a three-sector model of the global economy. The actual state of service industries is described, as well as the geographical features of the sector, both in general and by its particular industries. Particular attention is given to the importance of the tertiary sector investigation for economic geography.
Investigation of the global natural gas market and its territorial structure is closely related to the geography of price-forming. Price levels and the principles of its formation are the principal indicators of integration of a territorial, i.e. regional or national, gas market into the global system of gas trade and its position within the latter.
Global urban centers, such as London, Paris and Moscow, attract a lot of immigrants and thus become the areas of conflicts between different ethnic and social groups. Investigation of factors resulting in the events in Paris (2005), Moscow (2010), Berlin, Oslo and London (2011) showed that current measures aimed at the adaptation of immigrants and smoothing-out of the social-territorial inequalities are ineffective. Despite this the inflow of migrants still continues. Immigrant resettlement in the cities of Russia and its consequences is a much less studied issue. Therefore, the experience of European countries is particularly important for Moscow, especially that of the management of migration processes, leveling of their adverse effects and application of indicators of the general social stratification.
Methods of geographical studies
Laser scanning is a new highly-precise technique of acquiring data about the Earth’s surface. It allows constructing the digital relief models of practically facsimile quality for the areas from several meters to several dozens of kilometers in several hours to several days. Thus it becomes possible to automate quantitative evaluation and interpretation of micro-morphology and micro-dynamics of relief types and relief-forming processes providing for the acquisition of new results in the geomorphologic studies.
Factors of unequal development of Russian cities during the post-Soviet period are analyzed in terms of the interrelation between different groups of objective and subjective factors. Population of a city, its functions and status, inherited structure, economic-geographical position, policies of authorities and business, quality of the urban environment and human capital are all discussed as factors of unequal development of Russian cities.
Synoptic situations and meteorological conditions accompanying wind-induced, discharge and ice-dam flooding events in river mouths are discussed. Natural economic coastal zones of the Baltic, Barents, Caspian and Black seas are analyzed. Synoptic predictors accompanying each type of flooding are revealed: stable and long-term wind influence, orthogonal direction of wind in relation to river channel and location of a river mouth at the periphery of pronounced cyclonic depression – for wind-induced one; active front zone, abundant precipitation and sharp temperature shifts – for discharge one; active front zone with high temperature gradient in the south-north direction – for ice-dam one. Changes in the number of discharge flooding events within the Caucasian part of the Black Sea coast under climate warming were evaluated. In winter the probability of active front zone development in the region and, thus, of the abundant precipitation becomes lower. In summer, by contrast, the danger of discharge flooding events increases in the region along with climate warming.
Changes of vegetation cover within the Black Lands of Kalmykia during the second half of the 20th century which were the result of anthropogenic impact (grazing, fires) are analyzed. The vegetation cover of complex semi-desert formed under the optimal regime of grazing during 1947-1951 is described. Active processes of natural re-growth after the sharp reduction of grazing loads in 1995-2001 are discussed (the replacement of indigenous vegetation complexes by more homogenous secondary sandy steppes). The important natural plant resources of the southern regions of Russia are capable of self-restoration only under strictly controlled use.
Oxygen isotope composition of river flow, precipitation and ground water in the middle reaches of the Protva River within the Satino training station of the MSU Faculty of Geography was studies using the stable isotope analysis. Oxygen isotope composition was analyzed at the Isotope Laboratory of the MSU Faculty of Geography with the Delta-V mass-spectrometer with standard gas-bench option. A short-time influence of precipitation on the isotope composition of river water was revealed, the origin of summer precipitation was identified and the causes of rains with anomalous heavy isotope composition were discussed.
Clusters are a form of the territorial organization of production which is the most favorable for the development of innovative economy. The geographical essence of clusters is discussed using the territory of Bavaria as an example. A technique of identifying clusters for aero-space and electronic industries of Bavaria is elaborated. The typology of clusters with account of the mechanisms of their formation is suggested.
Development of the territorial structure of chemical industry in the eastern part of Germany is discussed. Privatization and restructuring, as well as the governmental strategy aimed at the support and expansion of the industrial potential of the region under study, provided for the recovery of chemical industry in the areas of its traditional location by reorganization of existing centers of chemical production, their conversion and establishment of new network structures (clusters) leading to the improvement of interrelations between enterprises, suppliers, consumers and innovative centers (research institutions and universities).