Freak climate conditions sees an abnormally warm November.
Across a vast swathe of Siberia, unseasonal weather is confusing residents, animals and plants. Picture: The Siberian Times
People over the world know Siberia is famous for one thing - cold. But this year, which has already seen bikinis in Arctic Norilsk, winter conditions are postponed, with intriguing consequences. Bears in Bolsherechensky Zoo, Omsk are delaying their hibernation as it's not cold enough.
'They are languid, but they cannot lie down,' explained official Natalia Bolotova. 'They have gained the right weight, became twice heavier, but do not go to sleep. You see how warm this November is, perhaps, if it will be colder the would have already fell asleep.'
In Tyumen, ostriches at one zoo are building nests and preparing for mating, a spring-time activity, normally. They too are confused by the weather.
Plants are perplexed, with lilac bushes starting to grow buds in Omsk. Vital winter transport routes in Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Region across frozen rivers and swamps cannot be used properly because they are not yet frozen.
In Kemerovo meteorologists speak of an 'abnormally warm November' while two time zones further east in Irkutsk, 3 November saw a temperature of 14.4C, the warmest since records began.
The mild weather is due to the arrival of powerful warm Atlantic air masses that do not often reach Siberia.
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A few years ago only 30 were living in the wild, but now there is a realistic chance to avoid extinction.