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3 Feb, 2020 20:20

Climate change in Russia: Moscow temperatures exceeded norms by 9.2 degrees Celsius in January

Climate change in Russia: Moscow temperatures exceeded norms by 9.2 degrees Celsius in January

When you're the world's biggest country, you are pretty much a sitting duck for the effects of climate change. So it's hardly a surprise that in Russia weather records continue to be broken nationwide.

After a summer of wildfires, with reports of melting permafrost, plus an abnormally warm winter in western regions, this year has started with more norm-defying weather. On Monday, it was reported that over 70 Russian cities experienced their hottest January since records began.

Now, you can also throw out the stereotype of a snowy winter Moscow. According to Roman Vilfand, the scientific director of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia, the average January temperature in the capital broke the all-time record by an eye-opening 1.6 degrees. They also exceeded the norm by 9.2 degrees.

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"It was the warmest January in the history of meteorological observations. It is obvious that the weather has cascaded to a different temperature level," Vilfand told news agency Interfax.

The expert explained that the previous record, set in 2007, was -1.6 degrees Celsius, and the 2020 average was precisely 0°C — the highest since records first began in 1880.According to the Hydrometeorological Center, only one day — January 23 — corresponded to the standard expectations of January weather, and three of the days broke all-time records for that date.

Forecasts suggest that February will be considerably colder than January, but still abnormally warm compared to previous patterns. Russia's Environment Ministry has warned of "catastrophic consequences" in Russia if climate change accelerates. Temperatures in the country are rising at a faster rate than is typical globally.

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