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21 Jun, 2021 13:52

Russia braces for scorching heatwave not seen for 120 YEARS as officials say working day should be cut short due to extreme heat

Russia braces for scorching heatwave not seen for 120 YEARS as officials say working day should be cut short due to extreme heat

Record-breaking heat is expected to hit much of Russia this week, with temperatures in Moscow set to rise to over 36 degrees Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) and officials issuing health warnings about the dangers of extremely hot weather.

Evgeny Tishkovets, an expert at the capital’s Phobos meteorological center, said on Sunday that “the background temperature will exceed the normal climate for June by 13 to 15 degrees” Celsius.

“Moreover,” he added, “almost every day will be marked by a series of heat records of the kind that have never been seen before in more than a century of measurements.”

Also on rt.com The Arctic is burning: As temperatures reach 100F, over a million hectares of Siberian forest is on fire

“It is highly likely that an absolute record will be broken for the whole of June, which has not been since 1901, with an air temperature of plus 34.7 degrees. A comparable heat was only observed 120 years ago,” the forecaster said.

The Central Federal District, home to more than 38 million Russians, will see dangerously high levels of ultraviolet radiation, which has been linked to cancers and other health issues. The scientific director of Russia’s Hydrometeorological Center, Roman Vilfand, told RIA Novosti that “such a situation is rare in European Russia,” and warned that the public should “beware the strong sun.”

Health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor announced on Monday that employers should consider reducing the duration of the working day by an hour if offices and workspaces rise beyond 28.5C (83F), and by two hours if they become more than half a degree hotter than that.

In 2010, an almost unprecedented heat wave struck Western Russia, with temperatures consistently well above the seasonal average. An estimated 55,000 people died from the extreme conditions, while agricultural production cratered by 25% as crops withered and more than $15 billion was wiped off the economy. Analysts and campaigners have chalked up the freak event to climate change.

READ MORE: 100 degrees Fahrenheit! Eastern Siberian town shatters record for hottest-ever temperature inside Arctic Circle

In June of last year, massive wildfires swept through Siberia and the mercury rose to above 38C (over 100F) in the Far North, breaking Arctic temperature records. More than 1.15 million hectares of forest was estimated to be on fire at one point, sparking concern from environmentalists.

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