20 July 2011, 16:33

End of the world or just a bit too hot?

End of the world or just a bit too hot?

The year 2010 is remembered, first of all, for a record number of all kinds of weather cataclysms. However, it looks like 2011 will break the last year’s record.

The year 2010 is remembered, first of all, for a record number of all kinds of weather cataclysms. However, it looks like 2011 will break the last year’s record. 

The eruption of the Icelandic volcano with a tongue-twisting name of Eyjafjallajökull, hurricanes in America, snowstorms in Europe, earthquakes and volcano eruptions in Indonesia and on Haiti, a flood in Pakistan, extreme heat in central Russia… All these nature’s sad surprises of the last year are already being ousted from memory by this year’s cataclysms – another abnormally hot summer in Russia and the US, devastating floods in China and Brazil, and strong typhoons in southern Japan which seem to be threatening with a new tragedy like the Fukushima one. 

This week, the temperature in central Russia reached +37° Celsius. Weather forecasts for the next few days don’t promise temperatures lower than +33° C. 

Yakutia is a region in Siberia which is known for its severe winters and short but very hot summers. However, this summer, Yakuts saw an absolute record of heat - +38.4° C. The heat caused forest fires all over the region, which, in spite of all the firemen’s brave efforts, have not been fully put out yet. 

Still, it is even hotter in central and eastern states of the US – nearly +40° C, and the heat is threatening to hit Washington and New York. But Canada can “boast” of breaking even this record – at daytime, the temperature there exceeds + 40° C. 

In the US, the heat is also dramatized by excessive humidity. Moreover, frequent thunderstorms in some states have already killed 13 people in the last week. 

At the same time, southern and western China is hit by showers and storms. Since the beginning of June, about 500 people in these regions have been killed or are missing. About 3 mln people have been evacuated from the zone of the calamity. Last weekend, the airport in Beijing, which is, by the way, the world’s largest one, had to postpone several hundred flights. 

Summer rains and floods are not rare in China, but this year’s disaster is unprecedented. 

Some experts explain all these cataclysms with the global warming. Deputy Director of the Russian state weather service Gennady Eliseev does not agree with this:

“We still cannot fully explain these phenomena, but, I believe, there is nothing supernatural in them. As for the global warming, we still have no sufficient proof that all these hurricanes and typhoons are really provoked by the warming.”

Gennady Eliseev is sure that for all the heat of this summer, it will not break last year’s records. 

True, it is really hard to beat last summer’s heat record of + 38.2° C – something which has never been registered for the whole 130-year history of weather service in Russia.

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