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4 Oct, 2021 13:55

Siberia set for extreme winter deep freeze, Russian experts predict, as Europe faces energy shortages with cooler weather on way

Siberia set for extreme winter deep freeze, Russian experts predict, as Europe faces energy shortages with cooler weather on way

One of Russia’s top forecasters has warned that extreme weather is predicted to hit the Northern Hemisphere later this year, sparking concerns that it could worsen a deepening energy crisis setting in across parts of Europe.

Harsh conditions are predicted to hit Russia in early January, with snow in Siberia estimated to reach levels twice as severe as the average. On Monday, the meteorological center Phobos also reported that “snowdrifts almost a quarter larger than the norm” could sweep across Moscow.

In recent weeks, much of Western Europe has seen a rapidly growing energy crisis, with some parts of the continent experiencing a 250% increase in the price of gas for the heating and fuelling industry. Petrol stations in the UK running dry faster than they can secure new deliveries have caused severe delays and fights breaking out at refill forecourts.

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There are, however, signs that a difficult winter could cause the continent to slip deeper into an even worse energy catastrophe. Simon Thorne, the UK’s global director of generating fuels at S&P Global Platts, has said that “the savior likely comes in a milder winter. That would make a difference. But a very cold winter would be disastrous for many – even marginally cold would be very difficult.”

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Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, said earlier this year that a series of increasingly extreme weather events, including devastating wildfires and floods, are “at least to a large extent due to global climate change in our nation.” Putin also told US climate envoy John Kerry that Russia and the US have “common interests” when it comes to combating climate change in a move to team up against global warming, and the pair agreed to work together to improve the situation.

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