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Russia smashed heat records this winter, experiencing its hottest winter since records began 130 years ago, reported Gizmodo. Parts of the country were 6 to 8 degrees Celsius (7.2 to 12.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal, according to data kept by Russia’s weather service.
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These temperatures beat those of the last record that took place in the winter of 2015-2016 by 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit). All this heat resulted in some pretty weird things happening in the country.
The heat melted the snow at the Bolsherechensky Zoo in the Omsk region and awoke the bears out of their hibernation. “They probably decided that spring had come,” zoo spokeswoman Natalya Bolotova told The Washington Post.
It's also interfering with the fauna, as flowers have started to bloom early in the winter.
“Natural conditions in Russia are quickly changing over large territories, including the Arctic zone, where particularly strong climate changes are taking place,” Alexander Rodin, head of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology’s environmental and planetary sciences program, wrote in a statement to Gizmodo.
Russia’s environment ministry has already warned that the country is warming much faster than the rest of the world. The ministry revealed the region is heating up 2.5 times quicker than the global average.
But that's not the worst of it. Research is also revealing that the warming taking place in the Arctic is causing the region to turn into a powerful source of greenhouse gases. A U.S. government report found that the Arctic may now be emitting as much greenhouse gases as Japan’s or Russia’s annual emissions.
It's a loop that is absolutely disastrous. The more gases are emitted the more the Arctic gets thawed releasing more trapped emissions. These impacts will be felt around the world as the after-effects of climate change. Isn't it time we did more to stop this?