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'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'

Autumn cancelled in southern Siberia as Altai basks in 27C heat

By 0 and 0 and 0
10 October 2015


In the Sayano-Shushenskiy Reserve, a 'second spring' was reported as rhododendron blossomed. Picture: @calypso_232

Is it a freak heat wave or an indisputable sign of global warming? The experts will argue about this but a range of balmy temperatures in October in Siberia certainly begs a few questions: 27C in Altai, 24C in Barnaul, 21C in Novosibirsk, 21C in Tomsk, and 21C in Kemerovo.

In the Sayano-Shushenskiy Reserve, a 'second spring' was reported as rhododendron blossomed, evidently tricked by the Indian summer into thinking it was May or June again.

Flowers in October

Flowers in October

Flowers in October

Flowers in October

Pulsatilla, globe flower, bird cherry tree rhododendron are blossoming as if nature's clock thinks it's mid-May. Pictures: Sayano-Shushensky Reserve, Ekaterina Shishkova, @alexanovo

Pulsatilla was also bursting into flower recently, a certain sign in Siberia that spring is arriving, except that it's October here in the northern hemisphere. In the Republic of Buryatia, wild apple and bird cherry trees are in bloom, as if nature's clock thinks it's mid-May. 

Despite this unseasonable warmth, in Norilsk the thermometers hit a familiar minus 14C, yet elsewhere many Siberian cities reported significantly  warmer than average temperatures.

'What the hell is going on?' asked one seasoned observer of Siberian climatic rhythms. 'Mid-October is a time when the snow 'lies down', which means that the ground is frozen enough to stop melting,' she explained. Not any more it seems. 

Spring in Autumn

Spring in Autumn

Spring in Autumn

Spring in Autumn

'What the hell is going on?' asked one seasoned observer of Siberian climatic rhythms. Pictures: @ioanna88, Anna Shivokhina, Svetlana Krivosheina, Violetta Propishina

Elsewhere, the level of Lake Baikal - which contains 20% of the globe's unfrozen freshwater - is seen as worryingly low. This summer, as in all recent summers, wildfires have raged across huge tracts of Siberia, notably in Buryatia and neighbouring Irkutsk. 

In the north, the permafrost melts, unleashing greenhouse gases frozen for millennia into the atmosphere. In the Arctic, the ice recedes more than at anytime in living memory...

Comments (8)

guys come on, the write up is about OCTOBER, now it is the 16the of December....
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
16/12/2015 23:02
Nature acts, no...often struggles to rectify imbalances caused by man, these flower images are beautiful, an indication that if allowed nature will always honour her contract. If the natural process of plants, flowers, wildlife activity is stunted or repressed through ecological imbalance caused by man, it will find a way to "perform" regardless of calendar dates...this is a perfect example.
Carmen, Ireland
12/10/2015 05:49
Esther in NS: Your area is actually colder than normal, possibly due to the 'polar vortex'. Melting of glaciers in Greenland may also affect your weather systems (exactly how I don't know), and may make the British Isles much colder. Global averages are warmer, however - 2015 will likely rank as the hottest year in modern history (Google NOAA Global Analysis for a report). El Nino may bring drier weather to your region (google 'oxfam el nino' for a report with maps). The dry conditions that caused the 1825 Miramichi fire may have been the result of El Nino..
11/10/2015 22:45
to Esther, Blandford, Nova Scotia, Canada Some think it's Scotland )))
It's very funny for siberian people
Alexander, Novosibirsk
11/10/2015 18:48
Thank you for your news. Good to get it from people who live in the region. If it is warmer there, I wonder if it is colder somewhere else on the planet or is our whole planet heating up everywhere?
Does anyone know if there are unusually colder areas at this time somewhere on earth?
Esther, Blandford, Nova Scotia, Canada
11/10/2015 18:45
I am Irish but live in Moscow , at our dacha south of Chekhov we had our first snow last week , I have been to beautiful Altai and Lake Baikal. It is so wonderful to a lovely little yellow troillus flower among the autumn leaves , ours stopped flowering back in June.
Nick, Moscow
11/10/2015 13:35
I appreciate news from the people who actually live in the region. How better to be informed? Beautiful country, beautiful people! I hope we all realize that we are in this together...what's happening there is another sign of what's happening everywhere! One day we will not have to worry about war...because they may be no one left to fight them! If we do not start to address this soon, on an international level...we may not survive long! When the biological life that supports us dies...our death is imminent! Thank You for this news. With love for Russia and her people...Thomas
Thomas Joseph Ambrozy, Michigan, USA
11/10/2015 13:24
You have pretty flowers. I appreciate the articles and info. In the US, we often don't get good information. Obviously, there are alot of good people in Russia/Siberia. Intelligent people, artístic people. People who care about the planet. Thank you.
erik, cali, usa
11/10/2015 08:50

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