Staunton, March 14 – Unless Russia and the world significantly reduce the release of greenhouse gases, rising temperatures will mean that there won’t be any real winter in the European portion of the Russian Federation, according to Vladimir Semyonov, deputy head of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Academy of Sciences.
Under the most unfavorable projections, he says, temperatures will rise by 10 degrees centigrade during what are now winter months. “If one adds ten degrees to the average of minus seven in February, the new temperature will be plus three. This will be a temperature closer to what is the case now in April or the middle of March (ura.news/news/1052475782).
“We are already feeling this,” Semyonov continues. “Over the last 30 years, the temperature in the winter months on the European portion of Russia has risen 3.0 to 3.5 degrees and sometimes four degrees centigrade.”
Temperatures will also rise in the summer, albeit by only about eight degrees, research suggests. “All this will lead to the disappearance of winter and climate change. Snow in the west of Russia won’t remain. Agriculture will lose the chance to plant winter crops, although it will become possible to plant more “heat-loving” ones during the summer.
Semyonov’s comments follow the release of a Chinese prediction that by 2100, summer in Russia will double in length while winter will contract to only two months (riafan.ru/1401423-prodolzhitelnost-leta-v-severnom-polusharii-k-2100-godu-mozhet-uvelichitsya-vdvoe).
Not all Russian climatologists agree with either Semyonov or the Chinese. Yekaterina Pstrayakova, a geographer at Chelyabinsk State University, says that some models suggest that after warming for the next few decades, the world and Russia will cool over the next two centuries. In any case, she argues, this is a long-term process.
“Personally,” the Chelyabinsk scholar says, “I don’t believe in warming. But we will not be able to check: only our descendants will have that chance.”