climate change

Heatwave sweeping across western Russia

Children play with sprayed water during a hot summer day at the Moscow Zoo, in Moscow, Russia. Photo credit: Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva.

By Anders Lorenzen

People in western Russia are bracing themselves, as temperatures inch closer to breaking the all-time high temperature record.

Last week the daytime temperature in Moscow, the capital of Russia, was forecast at 30-35 degrees Celsius and could reach record highs this week and break records which have stood since 1936, 1951 and 2010.

People have been rushing to lakes to try to cool down. In the western city of Pskov which is near the border with Estonia, families were filmed trying to cool down at a lakeside beach.

Hottest in 142 years

Last month the air temperature in Moscow reached 34.8C which, the city`s weather authorities reported, is the hottest recorded in the month of June in 142 years of monitoring. 

Pavel Konstantinov, a meteorologist at Moscow State University, told the Reuters news agency that the heatwave had been caused by a “blocking anticyclone” that had moved in from Scandinavia. “The increase in the frequency of dangerous weather events and in particular heat waves unavoidably accompany global warming. It’s already clear they will happen more and more often and we need to prepare for them not as extremely rare events as in the past, but as dangerous weather phenomena that occur in populated parts of Russia” he said.

Experts believe that this summer could be the warmest experienced in Russia in more than a century.

The heatwave has set off a series of wildfires across the country.

It is believed the heatwave has prompted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to change his tune on climate change saying that this is now a priority for the country and he is seeking cooperation with the US. 

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