‘As we expected, December will continue November’s tendency’: what upcoming winter in Tatarstan will be like

“We expect January to be within the normal climatic range, some -12 degrees. In February, everything is quite simple”

Specialists studying climate continue differing in their views. Some are confident about global warming, others claim the planet is nearing a new ice age. Of course, it is very interesting what awaits the Earth in 50-100 years, but we also would like to know what the winter will be like. These questions, both long- and short-term, became the theme of a press conference dedicated to autumn cataclysms and the upcoming winter with head of the Department of Meteorology, Climatology and Environment at Kazan Federal University, Professor Yury Perevedentsev and the department’s Docent Timur Aukhadeyev.

Temperature rises in Tatarstan faster than in Russia on average

Supporters of global warming are convinced of the real impact of the human factor on climate. Indeed, average temperature measurements on the planet show its steady rise. If the manmade influence is ruled out, it is tough to name the reason for this phenomenon. The rapid growth of greenhouse gases exists, and this growth is provided by human activity. Opponents of global warming indicate the absence of clear evidence of the impact of carbon dioxide and methane on the greenhouse effect and the simple fact that a major volcano eruption can outstrip all negative industrial impacts in emissions.

Also, we haven’t yet studied the ability of nature to self-restore well. So some quite competent worldwide known scientists think that the idea of global warming is just a consequence of industrial politics and humanity’s egocentrism that believed it played a key role. By the way, the scientists who promote the global warming theory are no less competent than their opponents. Let’s go back to the press conference.

“This year, representatives of more than 200 nations gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, for 12 days where climate changes on the planet became main issues. The talk was serious enough, but as far as I can say, there were not made any specific decisions,” Professor Perevedentsev claimed.

He also reminded the audience of the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate deal adopted earlier this century. Russia actively participated in the discussion of the protocol.

“Nearly two decades have passed since then, but we see that the temperature keeps rising, and it hasn’t yet been possible to stop this process. Modern-day science drew a red line. Today the average annual temperature is 15%, and two degrees, as it was considered, are the maximum we can afford, now the bar has been cut to 1,5,” Perevedentsev noted.

Then the speaker answered a question about the current state of affairs:

“If the starting point is 1900, the average temperature has risen by 1,1 degrees. And the bar of 1,5 degrees can be crossed in 20 years already. In fact, the speed of temperature increase is 0,2 degrees in 10 years. Perevedentsev paid attention to the fact that the temperature growth pace on the planet isn’t the same: the increase in Russia is faster than across the planet in general, while in Tatarstan, it is even higher than in Russia in general. But the biggest attention is paid to the Arctic, it is a crucial region for climate, the biggest temperature rise is registered there.

“Why we can trust modern statistical data is a very important question. Today climatologists can collect data across the planet, which provides a chance of using an ensemble method. It means that data in 50 ensembles from different regions of the Earth is collected, and this data is averaged statistically. The method used for the period till the end of the centenary says that the warming process seems to go on. What do we expect? The global sea level will go up. The amount of precipitation is falling, accumulation of soil salt is growing, dangerous hydrologic and atmospheric occurrences are becoming more frequent. Today the prevailing opinion is that manmade activity is anyway the cause of the changes we see,” Professor Perevedentsev concluded.

November was depressive

The speakers noted that weather instability was registered in Tatarstan: a very serious lack of precipitation in summer, temperature ups and downs. According to them, they would like to understand what to get ready for at least during the upcoming winter months, if not in the next 50 years. But science can already give quite an accurate answer to this question, in millimetres of precipitation and degrees.

“The temperature this year has been very unstable. It started with extremely cold February, due to which the winter was in the top 10 coldest winters in history of weather observations. Then a marathon of anomalously warm months with a lack of precipitation began. May this year turned out to be a summer month. Precipitation in July was above the average, which didn’t have a compensatory impact. If we disregard November, month after month we fell short of 100 mm of precipitation. November provided twice more, but it was already too late,” Docent of the Department of Meteorology, Climatology and Environment at Kazan Federal University Timur Aukhadeyev briefly summarised 2021.

The expert noticed that this year it started to snow in Kazan earlier than usually. This used to happen on 17-19 November.

“This happened on 12 November. But the snow has already disappeared, which isn’t really good because winter plants vernalised. Now we are going through this period. Talking about the average amount of snow, there must be about 12 cm, but we have only three, the extensive western cyclone in the last decade of November and “stole” 12 cm of precipitation,” Aukhadeyev concluded.

According to him, the maximum height of snow coat in our territory is usually reached by 10 March. But given global occurrences, a tendency for a thicker snow coat year after year can be seen.

“It is necessary to note that November was depressive both in pressure fluctuations and a deficit of sunlight. We had just a third of the monthly average,” Aukhadeyev said.

Professor Perevedentsev told Tatarstan residents what to expect from the upcoming winter months after warm November.

“As we expect, December will continue November’s tendency. More precisely, it will turn out warmer than usual. It is about -8 degrees. There will be a bit more precipitation. We expect January to be within the normal climatic range, some -12 degrees. In February, everything is quite as simple as in December, we expect the parameters to be within the average, approximately -10 degrees.”

At the same time, the expert reminded the audience that the forecasts were probably, they can be 70% true.

“As for the next December days, we expect warming in Tatarstan caused by a cyclone coming from the Balkans. Its main blow will be in Moscow and Moscow Oblast, a warm front will affect our territory,” Perevedentsev summed up the forecast for this winter.

Natalia Eller

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