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Siberia prepares for abnormally warm winter weather after year of record-breaking heat

Siberia prepares for abnormally warm winter weather after year of record-breaking heat
Unseasonably high temperatures are being forecast this week throughout Siberia. The latest freak weather follows a summer of unprecedentedly warm weather in the remote region.

One of Russia’s most senior climate scientists, Roman Vilfand, of the Hydrometeorological Center in Moscow, told reporters that Western Siberia’s weather was 6 to 10 degrees Celsius warmer than normal for the season, while Central Siberia will be 8 to 15 degrees warmer. 

In 2017, the average temperature in Siberia was around -15 degrees Celsius, with extremes as low as -30. Speaking to the TASS news agency, Vilfand added that, “In the Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Omsk regions, daytime temperatures will be positive, [which is] incredible warmth [for the time of year].”

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In June, the federal agency reported record-breaking heat in Northeast Siberia, with the village of Verkhoyansk registering especially notable highs. At the time, Vilfand called the reading “phenomenal,” saying the area had once been a Pole of Cold – the place in the southern and northern hemisphere respectively that have the lowest air temperature. “It recorded -67.8 degrees Celsius at the end of the 1990s. Now it’s 38 degrees,” he said.

International experts have pointed to the summer heatwave as a worrying sign for the world. A group of global scientists led by the UK’s Met Office warned that the scenario would have been “almost impossible” in the past, and claimed it represented “unequivocal evidence of the impact of climate change on the planet.”

Polls have found that Russians are among the least concerned about climate change compared to other countries worldwide. Fewer than half of respondents to one survey reported that global warming was a significant concern for them.

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