All climate indicators were not standard last year
“The warming, which is a manifestation of the global trend, continues on the territory of the Russian Federation.” This is the conclusion by the authors of the annual report on the Russian climate in 2012. Representatives of environmental organizations emphasize that Russia needed serious climate programs and actions to adapt "climate-sensitive" sectors and regions to changing climate conditions.
The Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet) has published the report on climate features on the territory of the Russian Federation in 2012.
The report is the seventh annual paper analyzing trends in the Russian climate. Today it is one of the main official sources of information on climate change in the Russian Federation.
In their study, weather forecasters analyze key climate indicators - temperature and water regime, amount of precipitations, the situation in the Arctic and the situation with permafrost. The report also provides information about the climate conditions for agriculture and hazardous weather phenomena.
According to meteorologists, the year 2012 Russia was the twelfth of the warmest years in more than a hundred years (since 1886). The average growth rate of the average annual air temperature from 1976 to 2012 in Russia as a whole was more than two times higher than the same indicator for the global temperature. The average annual temperature anomaly was +1.07 °C. "The warming continues on the territory of the Russian Federation, this being a manifestation of the global trend. Over the whole year and in all seasons except winter, the warming since 1976 is observed throughout the Russian Federation." Winter, as reported by the weather forecasters, is marked by cooling in the extreme north-east and in the south of Siberia.
The year 2012 was the fifth of the most humid years: the precipitation anomaly was 2.9 mm/month, or 34.8 mm/year. Significant excess of precipitations was observed in the European part of Russia in all seasons, in the Baikal region, and in Eastern Siberia. In most of the country, the first snow fell later than usual, with a delay of more than 20 days. However, the first snowfall occurred earlier in the Far East region and in the south of the European part of Russia.
According to meteorologists, the ice cover on the largest Siberian rivers - Ob, Lena and Yana, and on the upper reaches of the Pechora, - was destructed 13 to 20 days earlier than usual. Due to increased air temperatures, the process of ice formation on Russian rivers took place later in autumn 2012.
The changes occurring in the Arctic have traditionally been an important indicator of climate situation. On the whole territory of the Russian North Polar Region, the average temperature was higher by 2.2 °C (the second warmest year since 1936). According to Russian meteorologists, temperature grew in all Polar Regions over the past thirty years (1983 - 2012).
Since the early 1980s, the summer area of sea ice decreases, and the process accelerated in the late 1990s. The area of Arctic sea ice in September decreased almost twice from 2000 to 2012. In the Siberian Arctic seas (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi seas), the September ice area decreased even faster after 1998: from 1200 thousand square km in the 1980s down to 132 thousand square km in 2012.
Weathermen are very unhappy about the state of permafrost. Almost in all survey points, absolute maximums of seasonally thawed layer were reached since the late 1990s.
Climatic conditions in 2012 for Russian agriculture are assessed as "slightly worse than the average for the period of 2006-2010." Conditions during the growing season in the Southern, North-Caucasian, and most of the Volga Federal Districts, as well as almost over all the Asian part of Russia were less favorable for crops than in the period of 2006-2010.
According to the statement of meteorologists, the year 2012 has hit the record (since 1996) in the number of hazardous phenomena and complex meteorological events, which inflicted considerable damage. The number of such events has increased over the same period of the last year by 65%. The frequency of heavy precipitation and strong winds was high. According to meteorologists, namely these phenomena caused the most damage to the economy.
Representatives of emergency services agree with these meteorological data regarding hazardous weather phenomena. Analysts of the Antistikhia center state that "more than 90 million of Russians live in the areas of possible impact of damaging factors in accidents at critical and potentially dangerous objects, 60% of the population." According to their estimates, the annual economic losses from emergency situations of different nature may reach 1.5-2% of gross domestic product, 675 to 900 billion rubles. The Russian Emergencies Ministry warns that "in the coming decades, global climate change will lead to further increase in the number of large-scale natural disasters, including floods."
The analysis of climate data of recent years does not leave the Russians hope that bananas will grow in the Arctic, and we will need no coats in winter. Representatives of environmental organizations have repeatedly stressed and continue to believe that Russia needed serious climate programs and actions on adaptation of "climate-sensitive" sectors and regions to changing climate conditions.