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Abnormal heat wave: Why parts of Siberia are hotter than Berlin?

Author : Der Tagesspiegel Newspaper

Source : Der Tagesspiegel

Diesel fuel leakage, forest fires, and heat - this summer turned out to be truly extreme in Siberia. Climatologists raise the alarm...
15:16, 26 June 2020

climate change
DPA

Siberia. This only word makes us cringe from the cold. But its inhabitants are not puzzled by frosts, rather they suffer from the prolonged heat. Climatologists are worried: in their opinion, the situation is very alarming.

According to The Guardian, experts attribute unusually high temperatures — above 30 degrees — to forest fires, huge oil spills, and the invasion of moths that plague many trees.

Related: Global environmental crisis: Does Ukraine fulfill climate agreement?

According to the scientists, if you look at the global climate, the current Siberian heat makes a significant contribution to the fact that 2020 is likely to be the hottest since the beginning of meteorological observations – and this is despite the fact that CO2 emissions were significantly reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Year by year, summer temperatures in the polar region are increasing. Powerful ocean currents drive heat to the pole, due to which snow and ice begin to melt. But this year we had special circumstances. In Russian cities and villages in these parts - for example, in Nizhniaya Pesha on June 9 - the heat exceeds 30 degrees. And in Khatanga, where the temperature usually fluctuates around zero, on May 22, 25 degrees were recorded (the previous record was 12 degrees).

Related: France states climatic and environmental emergency

According to the European Climate Change Monitoring Service Copernicus (C3S), temperatures in some parts of Siberia exceeded average values ​​by 10 degrees. Martin Stendel from the Danish Institute of Meteorology reports that such unusual May temperatures in northwestern Siberia without warming caused by human activities are observed once every 10,000 years.

Finnish climatologist Mika Rantanen also recently tweeted about new weather records.

Today, maximum temperatures are recorded in Eastern Siberia. +30 in some places beyond the Arctic Circle and near the border of sea ice.

President Putin called the situation "very serious"

C3S expert Freja Vamborg pointed out that although the Earth is generally warming up, temperatures vary widely across the regions. And Western Siberia is, in her words, the epicenter of heat. Temperature fluctuations are not unusual here, but the duration of the abnormal heat this year is alarming.

Russian President Putin back in December last year emphasized the seriousness of the situation. He noted that some Russian cities are located beyond the Arctic Circle, and if permafrost begins to melt, this will have far-reaching consequences.

It is believed that the thawing of permafrost has become one of the reasons for the recent massive leak of diesel fuel, because of which Putin had to declare a state of emergency. The mining and metallurgical concern Norilsk Nickel said then that the melting permafrost had damaged the tanks with the fuel stored in them: suddenly, subsidence of the supports on which these tanks were supported.

Related: Even Putin is now worried about climate change

This year, hundreds of hectares of Siberian forests have been destroyed by the fires, which in turn warmed the atmosphere over the region. However, there is another unusual circumstance: the invasion of a special breed of moth, the larvae of which devour the needles of conifers, and rapidly multiply at constantly increasing temperatures. Moreover, trees could easily become victims of a wildfire fire if they do not have needles.

Entomologist Vladimir Soldatov admits that he had never seen a moth multiply so fast before.

Related: Fire in Chornobyl exclusion zone extinguished

MICHAEL SCHMIDT

Read the original text  on Der Tagesspiegel

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