The recent heat wave in Siberia “almost impossible” without climate change

La récente canicule en Sibérie «presque impossible» sans le changement climatique

Temperatures 5 °C above normal since January, with a peak at 38 °C beyond the arctic circle: the heat that hit Siberia would not have “almost” had no chance to take place without the climate change, according to researchers who point to the urgency to act.

The World Weather Attribution, which brings together experts from various research institutes, has made a specialty of analyzing the possible link between a weather event extreme accurate and warming, calculating in a very short time the probability that it occurs even without the climate change related to greenhouse gas emissions.

And here, for this heat wave experienced by a large part of Siberia from January to June, which is conducive to the increase of fires that are still raging in the region, scientists have rarely been so certain of the influence of man.

“It was at least 600 times more likely that regional temperature recorded over a six month period from January to June 2020 occur due to the impact of climate change caused by man,” explained Andrew Ciavarella, the principal author of this study that is not published in a scientific journal with a reading committee, but uses a validated method.

“It would have been almost impossible without human influence,” insisted the scientist of the Met Office, uk.

“These results are among the most striking products with a study award “, for his part, said Sarah Kew, the royal meteorological Institute of the netherlands (KMNI).

Then they send a ” strong message “: “we still have a little time to stabilize the climate at levels anticipated by the Paris Agreement “, she insisted.

Risk more frequent

The signatories to the agreement have pledged in 2015 to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to limit warming to + 2 °C, or even +1.5 °C relative to pre-industrial times. But in order to achieve the ideal objective, it will be necessary to reduce the CO2 emissions of 7.6% per year each year between 2020 and 2030.

Without the warming, the episode of the siberian of the last six months, which has seen temperatures exceed on average of more than 5 °C the normal season, would only occur less than once every 80 000 years.

Even with the current climate change (and warming of the Arctic, much faster than the rest of the planet), this episode of prolonged heat is ” exceptional “, with a chance to come back every 130 years.

“But without a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, they are likely to become more frequent by the end of the century “, warned Sarah Kew. More frequent but also more intense.

As well, the heat wave would have been at least 2 °C less hot if it had occurred in 1900 and not today. “And it’s probably 3 °C, which is three times the pace of global warming,” noted Andrew Ciavarella. And this warming could be further increased between 0.5 and 5 °C for the next 30 years.

The researchers are less certain of their results at around 38 °C, recorded on 20 June in the city of Verkhoïansk, a record beyond the arctic circle that has not yet been validated by the Organization world weather.

Forest fires in Siberia: Russian cities are choking under the smoke

Significant forest fires in Siberia have reached the environs of Russian cities, by wrapping some of them in the smoke, while the fire brigade were struggling in the region against nearly 200 fires.

One of the areas most affected by these fires massive, which are repeated from year to year, on a background of warming climate, is the city of Iougorsk, more than 1600 kilometres north-east of Moscow, where a group of more than 100 firefighters and volunteers is deployed.

“The city has been cut off from the fire and it does not threaten homes, but when the wind changed in the morning, the smoke comes into the city,” testified to AFP Alexey Maksimeniouk, a city official.

In Yakutsk, a city of over 300,000 inhabitants in eastern Siberia, photos and videos published on social networks show a grey smoke thick, enveloping streets and buildings.

According to local authorities, thunderstorms, and dry have caused three fires in the outskirts of the city, in a region which is experiencing record warmth for the past several weeks.

The service of overhead protection of forests has indicated the fight is currently against 197 fires on the whole territory, representing a total of more than 43 000 hectares, mainly in the region of Yakutia, whose capital is Yakutsk.

More than 380 000 hectares of the land ravaged by the flames are not affected by the fire, according to the government policy which is to not fight the households are located in areas that are too isolated to through the huge forests uninhabited Siberia.

This policy was critical last summer when the smoke has reached some of the most populated cities of Siberia. President Vladimir Putin had finally resolved to send the army to extinguish the fire.

This year, the fires were strengthened by a wave of extreme heat, as a result of climate change.

Activists environmentalists are also due to poor management of Russian forests and the lack of resources.

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