Moscow has been so warm this December that the govt has resorted to sending trucks crammed with artificial snow to embellish a replacement year display within the city center.
Videos of the delivery for a snowboarding hill went viral as observers noted the irony of bringing snow to a city that spends millions annually on its removal.
“This is all the snow there’s in Moscow. It’s being guarded in Red Square,” one Instagram user wrote, accompanied by a photograph from near the Kremlin.
The Moscow region is within the throes of 1 of its warmest winters since temperatures began to be systematically recorded 140 years ago. The temperature within the Moscow rose to five.4C on 18 December, topping the previous record for the month set in 1886.
“It’s not normal in the least,” said Alexander Stanko, 62, a former foreman who was admiring the vacation decorations near the Kremlin on Sunday afternoon. As he spoke with a reporter, his granddaughter waved from a carousel found out near Red Square.
“Winters wont to be tons harder here,” he said. “You’d expect a couple of days with really strong frost and there would nearly always be snow by the New Year. it’s been getting warmer, definitely. That’s why, as you’ll see, we’ve got this funny snow up here this year.”
Concerns are growing about the consequences of worldwide heating on Russia. Permafrost under the country’s northern towns is slowly melting, and receding Arctic ice is driving hungry polar bears to forage in urban areas. The thaw within the northern permafrost has even departed a “gold rush” for mammoth ivory by making the tusks previously buried in ice more accessible to prospectors.
The balmy December weather has interrupted hibernation at Moscow zoo and caused crocuses, lilacs, and magnolias at Moscow State University’s apothecary garden to flower early. Zoo officials said that they had put five jerboas – a kind of hopping rodent with long hind legs – into specially refrigerated enclosures to encourage them to hibernate.
Tonnes of snow has been brought by truck to the center of Moscow in an attempt to boost holiday spirit in what has so far been an almost snow-free December. The snow started appearing at the capital’s Zaryadye Park and central Tverskaya Street on Friday. Alexei Nemeryuk, the head of Moscow’s trade and services department, told the Govorit Moskva radio station that the snow had been brought in from the city’s ice rinks and will be used to create snowboarding slopes as part of the Journey to Christmas festival. According to meteorologists, the unseasonable warmth has been brought by an atmospheric front from the Atlantic Ocean. Rain – not snow – is forecast for the New Year holiday, Russia’s main festive celebration.
Moscow resorts to fake snow in warmest December since 1886
The most visible impact, however, has been the shortage of snow, which usually begins blanketing Russia in October or November. Light flurries have fallen in Moscow and its parks are dusted white, but most of the snow within the city center has melted.
The country virtually shuts down for quite every week after the New Year, as Russians eat and drink their way through early January with ample time to recover before returning to figure. This year, Moscow has closed down central avenues near the Kremlin and is erecting large soundstages for concerts during the vacation.
“The machines are cutting snow anyway and a few remains. it’s usually melted down, but during this case we’ve used it again,” he told the Govorit Moskva station.
Russia may be a signatory to the Paris agreement to combat global heating, and Putin said during a televised news conference last week that the crisis was an immediate threat to Russia. The country was warming 2.5 times faster than the typical for the earth, he noted.
At an equivalent time, Russia recently abandoned plans to line greenhouse-gas emissions targets for business after lobbying by a strong Russian industry association. In his remarks, Putin cast doubt on the science, however, and omitted any discussion of greenhouse gases. He suggested the climate might be changing due to a shift in Earth’s axis.
“Nobody really knows the causes of global climate change, a minimum of global climate change,” he said, adding that folks should nevertheless make their “best efforts to stop dramatic changes within the climate”.