Moscow in the Hot Zone

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neufer
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Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:33 pm

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=45069 wrote: <<In the summer of 2010, the Russian Federation had to contend with multiple natural hazards: drought in the southern part of the country, and raging fires in western Russia and eastern Siberia. The events all occurred against the backdrop of unusual warmth. Bloomberg reported that temperatures in parts of the country soared to 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit), and the Wall Street Journal reported that fire- and drought-inducing heat was expected to continue until at least August 12.

Not all parts of the Russian Federation experienced unusual warmth on July 20–27, 2010. A large expanse of northern central Russia, for instance, exhibits below-average temperatures. Areas of atypical warmth, however, predominate in the east and west. Orange- and red-tinged areas extend from eastern Siberia toward the southwest, but the most obvious area of unusual warmth occurs north and northwest of the Caspian Sea. These warm areas in eastern and western Russia continue a pattern noticeable earlier in July, and correspond to areas of intense drought and wildfire activity.

Bloomberg reported that 558 active fires covering 693 square miles were burning across the Russian Federation as of August 6, 2010. Voice of America reported that smoke from forest fires around the Russian capital forced flight restrictions at Moscow airports on August 6, just as health officials warned Moscow residents to take precautions against the smoke inhalation.>>
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:55 am

There has been a strong wavenumber 6 standing wave in the summer jet stream around
48º N that has resulted in hot weather (i.e., low {green} total ozone anomalies below)
over Moscow & the northeastern U.S. and flooding in eastern Europe & Pakistan.
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by Beyond » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:35 am

neufer wrote:There has been a strong wavenumber 6 standing wave in the summer jet stream around
48º N that has resulted in hot weather (i.e., low {green} total ozone anomalies below)
over Moscow & the northeastern U.S. and flooding in eastern Europe & Pakistan.
Hey Art, there's no picture in your second post and if i click on where it's supposed to be - all i get is a web page can't be found thingy.
Was this really a picture of Sno-Balls and you ATE them :?: :?:
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:55 am

There has been a strong wavenumber 6 standing wave in the summer jet stream around
48º N that has resulted in hot weather (i.e., low {green} total ozone anomalies below)
over Moscow & the northeastern U.S. and flooding in eastern Europe & Pakistan.
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Last edited by neufer on Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by bystander » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:50 am

No, that didn't work either. I think it may have something to do with the /tmp/ in the url.

What's with the excess of toast in the 'istans and Alaska, while New England and Antarctica are doing without?

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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:39 pm

bystander wrote:No, that didn't work either. I think it may have something to do with the /tmp/ in the url.
OK, I did it the old fashioned way (as edited above).
bystander wrote:What's with the excess of toast in the 'istans and Alaska, while New England and Antarctica are doing without?
(Let's not get into Antarctica for the moment.)

The 'istans and Alaska have anomalous high total ozone because they have cold lows with a corresponding low tropopause over them.
(This allows stratospheric ozone to pool over them.)

The cold low over the 'istans represents a semi-permanent trough (i.e., dip) in the jet stream
which has pulled in Monsoonal Indian Ocean moisture in over northern Pakistan.

New England has anomalous low total ozone because it has a warm high with a corresponding high tropopause over it.
(This prevents stratospheric ozone from pooling over it.)

In the mid latitudes, high total ozone is a surrogate for cold temperatures caused by a dip (i.e. trough) in the jet stream.
In the mid latitudes, low total ozone is a surrogate for warm temperatures caused by a bump (i.e. ridge) in the jet stream.

The weather anomalies this summer are primarily due to
a strong stationary (wave number 6) meridional jet stream flow.
This may (or may not) be caused by a lack of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean (due to global warming).
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by Beyond » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:53 pm

neufer wrote:
bystander wrote:No, that didn't work either. I think it may have something to do with the /tmp/ in the url.
OK, I did it the old fashioned way (as edited above).
bystander wrote:What's with the excess of toast in the 'istans and Alaska, while New England and Antarctica are doing without?
(Let's not get into Antarctica for the moment.)

The 'istans and Alaska have anomalous high total ozone because they have cold lows with a corresponding low tropopause over them.
(This allows stratospheric ozone to pool over them.)

The cold low over the 'istans represents a semi-permanent trough (i.e., dip) in the jet stream
which has pulled in Monsoonal Indian Ocean moisture in over northern Pakistan.

New England has anomalous low total ozone because it has a warm high with a corresponding high tropopause over it.
(This prevents stratospheric ozone from pooling over it.)

In the mid latitudes, high total ozone is a surrogate for cold temperatures caused by a dip (i.e. trough) in the jet stream.
In the mid latitudes, low total ozone is a surrogate for warm temperatures caused by a bump (i.e. ridge) in the jet stream.

The weather anomalies this summer are primarily due to
a strong stationary (wave number 6) meridional jet stream flow.
This may (or may not) be caused by a lack of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean (due to global warming).
Everyone knows that when you go through "Tropopause", you can't make "Toast" any more.
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by bystander » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:09 am

Smoke over Western Russia
NASA Earth Observatory | 27 Jul 2010 - Present

PhysOrg | Environment | Moscow

Moscow wheezes as smog cloud blankets city | 28 Jul 2010
Muscovites Wednesday coughed their way through the hottest days of weather on record in the Russian capital as a smog cloud created by peat fires blanketed the city for a third day in a row.

The smog cloud -- which has left the spires of the Kremlin and onion domes of churches shrouded behind a misty curtain -- has been sparked by dozens of peat fires burning in the countryside around the city.
...
The temperature on Monday hit 37.2 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit) beating Moscow's previous record temperature of 36.8 degrees from July 1920, the Moscow Weather Office said.

The weather Wednesday was almost as uncomfortable, with the temperature nudging 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Russian capital and much of the country from the Baltic to the Pacific coasts have been sweltering in the severest heatwave for decades which has destroyed 20 percent of all of Russia's arable land.
Health alarm as wildfire smog smothers Moscow | 06 Aug 2010
Smog from wildfires in the countryside cloaked Moscow on Friday, with the levels of toxic particles, raising alarm over public health and numerous commuters wearing anti-pollution masks.

The city's most famous landmarks like the spires of the Kremlin towers or the onion domes of Orthodox churches were largely invisible from a distance as Muscovites wheezed their way through the smog into work.
...
Mosekomonitoring said that this week that the concentration of toxic particles in the air was higher than the norm by a factor of 20 in some areas and even people in good health should consider staying at home.
...
Forecasters warned that the record heatwave was going to continue in the coming days, with little rain forecast and the mercury again expected to hit 38 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) later.

Russia is battling its worst forest fires in modern history with emergency services still struggling to contain the flames.
Health alarm as wildfire smog smothers Moscow | 07 Aug 2010
The worst smog in living memory blanketed Moscow Saturday, with residents fleeing the Russian capital or donning protective masks against pollution over six times higher than normal safe levels.
...
The fires have raised concerns about the security of Russia's main nuclear research centre in the still closed city of Sarov, one of the areas worst hit by the blazes and where the emergencies ministry has sent thousands of workers.

The authorities were also closely watching the situation around the region of Bryansk in western Russia where the soil is still contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

State air pollution monitoring service Mosekomonitoring said that carbon monoxide levels in the Moscow air were now 6.6 times higher than acceptable levels.

Tiny invisible particles from the fires were also present in concentrations 2.2 times higher than norm, with specialists warning these could prove highly dangerous if they entered the human system.
...
The situation with the wildfires that have sparked the smog showed no sign of abating, with blazes with an area of 193,500 hectares (478,000 acres) recorded across the country.

In the last 24 hours, 290 new fires were recorded, more than the 244 that were extinguished in the same timespan, the emergencies ministry said. The fires are already confirmed to have killed 52.
Moscow's toxic smog fails to shift as anger grows | 09 Aug 2010
The toxic smog smothering Moscow showed little sign of abating Monday as media accused officials of covering up the scale of the disaster and the authorities raced to put out a fire near a nuclear site.
...
Some 557 wildfires were still covering 174,000 hectares (430,000 acres) of land in Russia, only a slight improvement from the weekend, the emergency situations ministry said.
...
There is no official data on the number of smog-related illnesses and deaths but a Moscow registry service official told AFP late last week the mortality rate in Moscow soared by 50 percent in July compared to the same period last year.
...
Many Muscovites laid the blame for the environmental catastrophe on the government which they say is not doing enough to shield them from the smog and heat.

Officials, meanwhile, say the weather would likely deteriorate later in the day but could improve later this week.

State air pollution monitoring service Mosekomonitoring said carbon monoxide levels in the Moscow air were 2.2 times higher than acceptable levels early Monday.
...
Carbon monoxide levels had been 3.1 times worse on Sunday and 6.6 times worse on Saturday.

Weather forecasters say shifting winds are expected to help clear the air in the middle of the week, while the heatwave would continue for the next few days and subside by early next week.
...
The heatwave created a national catastrophe which has affected all areas of life, with 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of agricultural land destroyed and the government ordering a controversial ban on grain exports.
Wired Science | 10 Aug 2010

Russian Fires Approach Nuclear Plants
Russia is, at the time of writing, being consumed by wildfires caused by the worst heat wave the country has endured in a millennia. A state of emergency has been declared in 35 regions of the country — seven for the fires themselves, and another 28 for crop failures caused by the drought and heat wave.

UK media has largely ignored the disaster, but the web is alive with eye-witness accounts, photographs, videos and maps of how the flames are spreading. Most of the information is coming through blogging site LiveJournal, which has a large Russian population.

Following the July heat wave in the country, peat fires — which can smoulder for years underground — ignited forest fires in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, the Voronezh Oblast, and across central and western Russia. A few days later, an area of 500,000 hectares was ablaze, with Moscow shrouded in a dense, thick smoke.

Since then, the area of the fires has been brought under control, with now only about 200,000 hectares ablaze, but there are much bigger problems looming. The fires have approached the Red Forest, an area that suffered the worst of Chernobyl’s fallout in 1986, with the soil still heavily contaminated by cesium-137 and strontium-90.

Similarly, the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Chelyabinsk Oblast is also threatened by the flames, as is a nuclear research center in Sarov, which was formerly known as the secret town Arzamas-16. If any of the structures succumb, then radionuclides could be spread widely afield, generating new zones of radioactive pollution and displacing the population of those areas.
Russian Heat, Asian Floods May Be Linked
Russia’s killer heat wave and monster South Asian monsoon floods could be more than isolated examples of extreme weather. Though separated by a continent, they could be linked.

Monsoon rains drive air upward, and that air has to come down somewhere. It usually comes down over the Mediterranean, producing the region’s hot, dry climate. This year, some of that air seems to have gone north to Russia.
...
The Russian heat wave has persisted since late June, with daytime temperatures at least 12 Fahrenheit degrees above normal — and often much more — for over a month. In Moscow alone, an estimated 300 people a day have died. The temperatures threaten wheat harvests and have sent global prices rising in a manner reminiscent of the lead-up to 2008’s global food riots.
...
Meanwhile, in South Asia and China, seasonal monsoons have been exceptionally intense, setting off the worst flooding in 80 years. Pakistan has been especially hard-hit, with 1,600 people dead and 2 million homeless in what’s been dubbed “Pakistan’s Katrina.”

Events like these fit with general forecasts of weather trends in a warming climate. But some observers have wondered whether Russia’s heat wave and Asia’s floods are linked not just by a vague trend, but by specific cause-and-effect meteorological dynamics. They will undoubtedly be studied in detail for years to come, but according to Trenberth, there’s good reason to think the extremes are connected.
Wildfire Pictures: Russia Burns, Moscow Chokes
National Geographic | Daily News Pictures | 10 Aug 2010

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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:52 am

bystander wrote: Russian Heat, Asian Floods May Be Linked
The Russian heat wave has persisted since late June, with daytime temperatures at least 12 Fahrenheit degrees above normal — and often much more — for over a month. In Moscow alone, an estimated 300 people a day have died. The temperatures threaten wheat harvests and have sent global prices rising in a manner reminiscent of the lead-up to 2008’s global food riots.
...
Meanwhile, in South Asia and China, seasonal monsoons have been exceptionally intense, setting off the worst flooding in 80 years. Pakistan has been especially hard-hit, with 1,600 people dead and 2 million homeless in what’s been dubbed “Pakistan’s Katrina.”

Events like these fit with general forecasts of weather trends in a warming climate. But some observers have wondered whether Russia’s heat wave and Asia’s floods are linked not just by a vague trend, but by specific cause-and-effect meteorological dynamics. They will undoubtedly be studied in detail for years to come, but according to Trenberth, there’s good reason to think the extremes are connected.
The northern midlatitude jet stream has meridional (north/south) waves in it.

The longest waves (wavenumbers 1-3) tend to be stationary (fixed by the continental land masses & their mountain ranges).

The shortest waves (wavenumbers 9-15) tend to move eastward freely with the jet stream and give us our normal weekly weather cycle (e.g., every weekend has lousy {or sometimes nice} weather).

However, the middle length waves (wavenumbers 4-8) move eastward but only quite slowly giving us hot or cold spells of either about 1-2 weeks long (particularly in the winter & spring) or sometimes 4-7 weeks long (particularly in the summer & fall). Currently a strong wavenumber 6 is moving eastward very slowly resulting in a hot spell for places like Moscow and the U.S. eastern seaboard that are 4-7 weeks long. It is quite likely IMO that a warm Arctic Ocean is allowing for the amplification of such a wave as well as hindering its fast propagation.
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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by bystander » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:39 am

NASA Video Shows Global Reach of Pollution from Fires
NASA JPL | Aqua/AIRS | PR 2010-265 | 11 Aug 2010
A series of large wildfires burning across western and central Russia, eastern Siberia and western Canada has created a noxious soup of air pollution that is affecting life far beyond national borders. Among the pollutants created by wildfires is carbon monoxide, a gas that can pose a variety of health risks at ground level. Carbon monoxide is also an ingredient in the production of ground-level ozone, which causes numerous respiratory problems. As the carbon monoxide from these wildfires is lofted into the atmosphere, it becomes caught in the lower bounds of the mid-latitude jet stream, which swiftly transports it around the globe.

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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:12 am

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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:30 am

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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by rstevenson » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:41 am

This one's five years old Art. Did you mean to include a newer one? As well, I don't quite follow the relevance to the Moscow in the Hot Zone issue.

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Re: Moscow in the Hot Zone

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:06 pm

rstevenson wrote: This one's five years old Art. Did you mean to include a newer one?
No. If you've seen one rainforest on fire you've pretty much seen them all. :wink:
rstevenson wrote:As well, I don't quite follow the relevance to the Moscow in the Hot Zone issue.
I am arguing that the most immediate impact of global warming may be a warm Arctic Ocean that cannot maintain a stable zonal flow in the mid latitude jet stream. Hence there will be a more meandering stationary jet stream that creates more heat waves, floods, violent thunderstorms (we are currently experiencing our third major summer thunderstorm in the Washington D.C. area), and even snow storms.
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