Monday, August 02, 2010

Warming Trends: a taste of things to come?

While I was in Moscow a few weeks back, the temperatures were stably higher than anything ever experienced in the history of record keeping: temperatures were literally unbearable. Traveling to India after that - where temperatures were thankfully cooler - I was impressed by exactly how difficult it will be for any country including more recently developed countries to put the brakes on the rate of increase of consumption of fossil fuels.

This brief news article describing the temperature trends and fires in Russia as a result of climate change is worth reading in its entirety. It does not do justice to the fires themselves and the havoc they are wreaking. A taste of things to come?

"Meteorologists say air temperature in central Russia by Friday might reach 41 degrees Celsius, which is likely to cause more forest fires in the region.

The recent sporadic rains in central Russian regions have not been brought by a cold weather front, so there is no hope for the drop of air temperatures, an official from the Russian meteorological service said yesterday.

“On the contrary, we expect that air temperature will go up to 41 degrees Celsius by Friday,” he added.

He also said that according to Internet-modelled forecasts, the weather might change after August 8, although such forecasts cannot be fully trusted. “The possibility of an error considerably increases starting from the forecast’s fifth day, so its accuracy nears zero by the eights day,” he said and once again confirmed that short-term forecasts testify to hot weather.

Meteorologists also say the winds are likely to change direction from south-eastern to south-western, thus bringing Mediterranean rains. Moreover, thanks to such winds smoke from peat-bog fires will go to less populated areas.

Meanwhile, according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, a total of 227 wildfires were registered in central Russian regions in the past 24 hours. The bulk of fires, 130, were registered in the Moscow region, 48 was the tally in the Vladimir region, 9 in the Voronezh region, and another 9 in the Ryazan region. The total area hit by wildfires is 11,038 hectares. "

Source: The Hindu

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