In Russia, the summer of 2021 may turn out to be abnormally dry, and the stable anticyclone that now dominates in Siberia and the Urals will be to blame. This statement was made the other day by a meteorologist, climatologist, member of the Russian Geographical Society, candidate of geographical sciences Ekaterina Pestryakova…
“In winter, the anticyclone brings a cold wind, and in summer it is hot. I think the summer will be warm, there will be less precipitation. I am very much afraid of a dry summer, ”she told the media, stressing that in the last few years in the Asian part of the country this time of the year is generally becoming drier and drier.
“SP” asked the experts – is it worth taking such a forecast seriously? Firstly, summer is still very far away, and, secondly, this winter, unlike the previous one, cannot be called snowless, so a repetition of the situation with the extremely meager spring flood of 2020, provoking a drop in productivity and aggravating the situation with forest fires, perhaps, we are definitely not threatened.
– I would not say that this is just such a forecast in the full sense of the word, but there is still a certain chance for just such a development of events, so the assumption sounds quite reasonable, – he shared his vision of the situation with the publication Director of the Climate Program, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Alexey Kokorin… – The anticyclone is always installed, the only question is whether it turns out to be stronger again or weaker. Now it is, perhaps, stronger, although somewhat farther south than usual. But do not forget that the assumption [о засушливом лете] is true precisely for the area of distribution of the anticyclone, and in other regions, for example, in Moscow, the situation may turn out to be radically opposite.
In addition, you need to understand that there are situations that allow you to make fairly reliable forecasts for a long – up to six months – period. For example, when the El Niña phenomenon occurs in the South Pacific, at least for the Southern Hemisphere, there is a lot to predict. And there are situations when there is nothing like this.
With this Siberian anticyclone, there is just a similar situation – especially strong factors and arguments “for” the anticyclone, as, incidentally, there are no especially strong arguments and factors “against” it. Therefore, it may well be established, why not.
SP: – How important is it for Russia as a whole, for its Central Region? Can we assume that the appearance of a stable anticyclone over Siberia and the Urals will provoke a repetition of the summer hell-2010 in Moscow and the rest of the Russian Plain? This scenario, I remember, was seriously feared by experts in the first half of last year.
– This anticyclone has a rather weak effect on the climate of the European part of Russia. This, so to speak, is one of the characteristic features of the Siberian climate, nothing more. What we see is much more relevant for western and central Russia.
“SP”: – And what do we see?
– And we see more uneven precipitation. Not that they have become somehow much less or more, although, in fact, their number has grown in the north, and decreased in the south of the country. They just got sharper. Roughly speaking, instead of ten rains, there are two powerful showers.
“SP”: – Why is it bad?
– For the same municipal economy, this is a fundamentally important point. Take storm sewers in cities. Its throughput is calculated using the formula X cubic meters of water for N hours. Now imagine what would happen if, say, 100 cubic meters of water poured into it not in 3 hours, but in just 20 minutes? If we also consider that the showers are accompanied by an intensified wind, which clogs the sewage system with leaves, branches and other debris?
This, and not some local Siberian anticyclone, has a significant impact on the climate of the Central region of Russia. Plus, for the southern latitudes of our country, the spread of heat waves is also becoming more relevant.
“SP”: – That is, every summer becomes more and more arid not because of anticyclones as such, but primarily because of the uneven precipitation?
– If we talk about the entire territory of Russia, then we have an increase in the interannual variability of precipitation. True, this is true primarily for winter, and not for summer. That is, for the same point, some winter may be completely snowless, and some too much snow. And this range of extremes practically becomes unpredictable.
If we talk about the South of Russia – Volgograd, Astrakhan regions, Stavropol Territory and other regions – then everything is unambiguously so. Summer droughts are increasing there, and forecasts by the Institute of Agricultural Meteorology say this is a clear deterioration for agriculture. And this is a very serious argument for practical actions like transferring agriculture to even more drought-resistant crops.
“SP”: – That is, we already have serious difficulties in the country with food in general and with its availability for the population in particular. And soon there will be crop failures. And then, in general, there will be one continuous trouble?
– So far, the forecast of Roshydromet as a whole is that the conditional climatic yield in most of the territory of Russia, with the exception, perhaps, of our very extreme South, is growing, no matter what. But this phenomenon is temporary. And by the fifties of this century, the trend will be reversed. How strong it will be depends on what scenario the global warming process will follow?
If it turns out to be negative, then the entire Russian South, from Tula to Omsk inclusive, will face serious agricultural problems. Where to the north – Moscow, Vologda – the conditional climatic yield will be a plus. But the soils are poor there, and they will not change significantly. So these large-scale changes for our agriculture as a whole, alas, are negative.
Of course, ordinary Russians will be able to manure their dachas in order to grow something more thermophilic there. But on a commercial scale, I’m afraid the task may be overwhelming. Although both Roshydromet and the main geophysical observatory have long and repeatedly warned that it is time for Russia to prepare and adapt its agriculture to a different climatic yield by switching to other crops.