Climatologist about the nature of the anomalous cold in Russia
Who “shattered” the climate, causing hurricanes, snow and cold in late spring, and whether to wait for the onset of eternal autumn, “Газете.Ru” said the climatologist, an expert on extreme precipitation, the senior researcher of the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Professor at the University of Grenoble (France), Olga Zolina.
— Olga, as you are in France, look at what is happening in Central Russia, through the eyes of a climatologist? Think for a second month we have cold, rain, hail, snow and hurricanes…
— Actually a bit less, it started at the beginning of may, and before that, in April, everything was in the normal range. Nothing special in this, since the June returns of cold weather occur, if not every year, with some repeatability, and this is not new. So lined up, the atmospheric circulation — is the so-called cyclonic blocking, which gradually begins to break down.
Over the Atlantic ocean is a powerful anticyclone with high pressure, and on its Northern periphery one after the other cyclones. These cyclones is pumped cold, moist air from the Arctic, and as a result, in the European part of Russia transferred from West to East and from North to South.
And these cyclones are one thread and really wonder why this blocking is not destroyed so long.
But here the answer is nobody will. Last summer we told you about the “nervousness” of the climate, and now there is another manifestation of it. Over the last hundred years we’ve got to initially self-regulating climate system, and she has no time to work out, to return to a kind of balance. As a result, you experience unusual or extreme weather events, and every year it becomes more and more.
Now even hard to imagine what else can be expected.
— What are the weather records for that time was delivered? May called the coldest in the XXI century…
— Yes, from the unusual event was hurricane with high wind speeds, it is not typical for the area. And if the US tornadoes and the tornado is well-known and common phenomenon, that for Moscow it is, of course, extreme event. Such a large wind velocity in Moscow has already been observed, but fortunately very rare. The flood was a consequence of the passage of an atmospheric front, the sharp fall of pressure, and as a consequence increase the speed of the wind.
— Whether the current prolonged cold snap in Moscow historical counterparts?
You can’t confuse weather and climate. If we have over 30 years every year in June the temperature was around 6 degrees and snowing, we could talk about a global climate reconstruction. If this only happens once every five or ten years, it is a local alteration of atmospheric circulation, which then return to their usual course.
If we talk about history, we have very little data. About the same Small ice age we can judge only according to some Chronicles, the records of monasteries and paintings. Besides, it’s a completely different time scale — there it was, the cold snap that lasted for about 400 years. Therefore it is better to look back on the period of instrumental records, and then you can see that recently was almost broken record lowest temperature 6 June — 5 degrees.
— The fact that what we are seeing today — the handiwork of man, for scientists leaves no doubt?
— That person got into the climate system — it is a proven fact, this is indicated by the results of climate modelling, summarized in the IPCC reports. The anthropogenic factor is definitely there and it affects the climate, and there’s nothing we can do about it, as can’t stop the industry. And this leads to unusual behavior of the climate system, which often surprises us, as it is very different from what we can assume.
There is no doubt that these “strange” weather manifestations will be more and more.
— Last time you said that one of the manifestations of global warming may be the onset of an eternal spring or autumn, with the implicit boundaries of the seasons, the constant cloudiness and rainfall. Not forerunner do we see?
— If you see today we will see every year for a long time, then we can talk about climate change, the reduction of the seasonal amplitude, and that the average summer temperature decreases. Some time ago in Moscow was a very warm winter, when the New year there was virtually no snow for several years. However, they switched and became normal. And yet we see that, Yes, the beginning of summer cold and not very pleasant.
Eternal autumn is one of the theoretical possibilities that can be realized in connection with global warming.
Climate scientists are mainly looking back, analyzing what has occurred over the past decade and trying to figure out why it happened. As for-term projections, they do, scientists working with General circulation models based on hydrodynamic equations. However, to obtain long-term climate projections it is necessary to choose a scenario of how it will change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is no one knows and there are a few example scenarios — pessimistic, that is a very strong increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases, the way everything is going now, and optimistic, that is a sharp reduction in emissions.
— What do you think you and your colleagues on the recent US withdrawal from the Paris agreement?
— In General, the Paris agreement — a fairly artificial thing, since the main “suppliers” of greenhouse gases are in developing countries, they have many other problems and climate change is for them not in the first place.
But our American colleagues are very wary and concerned that trump has repeatedly not very positively spoke about fundamental research in climate science.
For him in the first place are the so-called “climate service” — that is, practical application.
However, the practical applications relate mainly to the weather forecast, roughly speaking, to take the umbrella tomorrow or not, and to improve the quality of weather forecasts is necessary fundamental climate research. Of course, trump announced withdrawal from the Paris agreement is good not only from the point of view of the problem of global warming, but also from the point of view of development of climate science.