Climatologists are afraid: the 2020 drought is a pattern whose end is not visible



Climatologists are afraid: the 2020 drought is a pattern whose end is not visible

The “hot” period of 60 years should have ended, but this is not due to the “stormy” activity of humanity. In Ukraine, the average temperature can reach 40 …

Ukraine suffers from large-scale forest fires. Rescuers are fighting fires in several areas, especially in Zhytomyr and Kiev. But the lack of humidity and the dry winds prevented the end of the disaster. Agrarians have their own means – crops suffer, spring grain must be sown in dry soil.

Meanwhile, forecasts of a catastrophic drought in Ukraine may not be justified. Until the end of April, agrometeorologists expect rains. Even if this situation does not save dramatically, but it improves it considerably, according to experts. But we still don’t know how it will be … It’s bitter to say, but now there is a dry period all over the planet, which should last, creating extreme weather conditions on different continents at different times of the year. year. Our Europe is no exception.

The current generation of Ukrainians have been “lucky”: not a single cold year since the early 1990s

It is interesting to note that the peculiarities of the winter-spring drought of the time were very clearly predicted by meteorologist-geographer Vera Balabuh in an interview with Ukrinform in November 2019. Then we remember, with specialists, we we looked for explanations on the abnormal temperature readings on the European continent, like Paris, when the city was covered with heat at 42 degrees. Then in Ukraine, June was the hottest of all the period of instrumental observations. And summer and fall gave Ukrainians over 75 days of dry weather. Certainly, not without a barrage of extreme precipitation, which fell in places. In central Kiev, for example, such rains flooded the area of ​​the Gulliver shopping center.

Responding to Ukrinform’s question about what will be the winter of 2019-20, Ms. Balabukh then said: “Like last year, it should be hot. There is everything for that. No wonder the World Meteorological Organization report says: the fifth anniversary of 2015-2019 is the hottest in human history. (…) According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average temperature of each winter month should be 1 to 3 degrees higher than that of the beginning of the century. Short-term cold air incursions into the Arctic are possible. “

So – everything was like that.

It’s bitter to say, but such a dry period will only grow, noted the meteorologist. She draws attention to the fact that climate change on the planet has recently caused extreme weather conditions, which are increasing in intensity – this is a severe drought, as well as sudden and unprecedented precipitation of grains. and hurricanes.

“In Ukraine, the thermal regime, the humidification regime and the wind change considerably. A noticeable increase in temperature throughout the year, and above all – in winter and summer. Since the late 1990s, there has not been a single cold year in Ukraine. The average temperature for the year was above normal. Since 2007, annual anomalies have exceeded a degree and a half, and in some years or even two, “said Vera Balabukh in an interview at

Climatologists are afraid: the 2020 drought is a pattern whose end is not visible

Vera Balabukh

2007: drought ruined the harvest and forced the Nile crocodile to escape to the Sea of ​​Azov

In the past 120 years, Ukraine has experienced more than 70 catastrophic droughts for agricultural production. The agrarian online magazine “Proposition”, retrospectively of droughts in Ukraine, recalled that during the years of independence in Ukraine, there were seven droughts (two of which were severe): 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005 (second semester), 2007.

In terms of scale and intensity, the droughts of 2007 are assimilated to the most severe droughts of the 20th century: in 1921 and 1946. Its negative impact was considerably increased because in some regions in 2006, there was a dry fall and unusually warm and light snowy winters.

Drought caused rivers to flow from central, eastern and southern parts of Ukraine (Ros, Orel and Seversky Donets, Dniester and others), which complicated the water supply to the colonies and the general situation of water and the environment in their basins. In the Karlovsky district, in the Poltava region, dust storms were added to the drought, which destroyed crops, causing damage to an additional 12 million hryvnia.

In Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, the heat caused a curious incident. A Nile crocodile fled to the Sea of ​​Azov – one of the circus tent artists who visited the city. The fugitive was later found.

Then in Ukraine, 10 million hectares of cereals were affected, on an area of ​​1.1 million hectares of agricultural crops perished. 11.5 thousand agricultural enterprises suffered. An abnormally severe and prolonged drought adversely affected the 2007 harvest. Cereal crops amounted to 29 million tonnes compared to 38 in 2005, 33 in 2006 and 53 in 2008. The average cereal yield in some regions reached 10-15 kg / ha and under – as “under the boards”. Due to a severe shortage of crops, the government has even introduced quotas for grain exports.

Exactly ten years later, in 2017, severe soil drought again occurred in Ukraine. In June, there was a shortage of precipitation in most of Ukraine, resulting in drought in the southern, central and eastern regions. But in the western and partially northern regions, conditions have remained very favorable for the harvesting of almost all crops. However, in many areas of these areas, heavy rain, hail and wind caused local lodging and damage to crops. As a result, the yield of cereals and pulses in Ukraine fell to 61 million tonnes, 7% lower than in 2016.

Our region has been the most problematic for 30 years

In general, according to the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the region to which Ukraine belongs, one of the highest temperature growth rates in the world in the past 30 years. The average annual temperature has increased 3.5 times faster than the world average. “An increase in temperature resulted in a change in the length of the seasons – the cold period and winter became much shorter and warmer, and the hot period and summer were longer and warmer. The number of hot days and the duration of the hot period have increased considerably. The precipitation regime has also changed. In winter, at high temperatures, it rains more often than snow. Consequently, there is no lasting snow not only in the south of the country, but also in the northern regions. In summer, a high air temperature in the presence of humidity promotes the formation of powerful convective clouds (these clouds are formed by the condensation of water vapor in the air, which rises and cools. – NDE), from which heavy rain, hail, dangerous grains and tornadoes form. As the rainfall is very local, it happens more and more often that in a city one or two monthly precipitations fall in a few hours and that there is not nearby. As a result, the deficit in precipitation and, at the same time, drought have also become a typical phenomenon of our time, ”says Vera Balabukh.

The warm oceans are almost like an “inflammation” of the lungs of the planet

Indeed, all over the world, various abnormal processes are currently occurring with the oceans, which have been intensely heated over the past decade. For example, scientists note that the western part of the Indian Ocean is much warmer than its eastern part. As a result, in the eastern part, there is much less evaporation, and therefore a decrease in precipitation. It was this combination, for example, that led to the devastating fires that the world witnessed in Australia last year.

A rise in ocean temperature affects the atmosphere through the so-called centers of atmospheric action. The weather in Ukraine and Europe is largely influenced by these centers located in the Atlantic. These are the so-called Icelandic minimum (a powerful cyclone in the region of the Icelandic islands) and the Azores maximum (subtropical cyclone which occurs near the Azores). “The unusually warm waters of the North Atlantic as well as the powerful circumpolar whirlwind of December 2019 contributed to the strengthening of the Icelandic minimum. Extremely powerful cyclones have created in this region which have even reached the power of tropical hurricanes. Spreading their influence far south of the Atlantic Ocean, they interacted with the Azores high. As a result, a powerful southwest stream formed, which brought warm, humid air to Europe. Unfortunately, this humidity did not reach Ukraine, as high pressure conditions and strong pressures prevailed on its territory. Quite often, the hot, dry air from Asia and the African continent has moved to our territory, ”explains Vera Balabukh.

Climatologists are afraid: the 2020 drought is a pattern whose end is not visible

Svetlana Krakovskaya

According to climatologist Svetlana Krakovskaya, it is these processes that have caused an unusually warm winter in Ukraine this year. However, if they were in summer, the situation would be much more serious. “With a longer length and height of the sun, the air temperature would increase much more, and we would not have 18-20 degrees, but 40-45 and more, as in France in June 2019, when such a traffic was observed, “says Svetlana Krakow.

Extreme events are a sign of climate change

Unfortunately, climatic processes are becoming more frequent, causing an increasing number of anomalies. “The extreme weather is increasing. In North America, after a hot summer, a fairly harsh winter has come. In other words, significant deviations from the standard can be one way or the other. This is just one of the signs of climate change. A decrease in the amount of precipitation is observed, but an increase in its intensity is expected in the future. More and more, what was supposed to overflow in three days is spreading in one day, ”says Svetlana Krakovskaya.

Without a doubt, climate change has always happened. And according to Svetlana Krakovskaya, natural cycles are around 60 years, when the average temperature can change rock from a year only plus or minus 0.5 degrees. “We are now living in one of these cycles, the maximum warming of which occurred in the 80s of the last century, after which cooling should occur. But that did not happen and the warming continued. When we talk about some sort of historic climate change, from the same Greenland, we are talking about processes that have been going on for thousands of years. The same processes that we see now, they take place over decades, during the life of one person. Such speed simply did not exist before, ”notes the climatologist.

If the Ukrainians do not change their environmental behavior, it is possible that in the middle of this century in the north of Ukraine, we are witnessing a temperature increase of 3 degrees. And at the end of the century – an increase in temperature by 5-6 degrees. And it’s an average of over 40 degrees throughout Ukraine. At the same time, there will be less precipitation in the south of Ukraine, which will lead to the desertification of this part of the territory.

“Already in Ukraine, there are several types of drought. We observe atmospheric drought, soil dryness, hydrological drought when the water bodies dry up. And now they are already talking about a geological drought, when humidity is not enough in the upper horizons of the soil. In other words, the water disappears in the wells, ”explains Vera Balabukh.

And then?

The summary of climatologists is rather disappointing. In the context of geological drought, when the anticyclonic weather with a large number of calm days prevails, air quality will deteriorate in Ukraine (smoke, increased concentration of harmful emissions, etc.). The quality of the water will also deteriorate. The “water content” of rivers will continue to decrease. In the northern part of the country, precipitation will increase. At the same time, the vegetation will change.

The number of forest fires will increase. In general, the number of extreme weather events will increase.

A more or less positive scenario, according to climatologists, is only possible with the global efforts of humankind on the path of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists are convinced that it is this “human” factor that largely determines the violation of natural temperature cycles on the planet. “We are all the authors of climate change. But at the same time, we are not only witnesses, but also the reason for these changes. As well as those affected by it. And we have to fix it. No one can do it except us, ”sums up Vera Balabukh.

Marina Nechiporenko, Kiev

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