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Moscow fights heat by growing olive trees and opening city beaches

Published time: July 01, 2011 17:00
Edited time: July 01, 2011 21:47

As last year’s heat returns to the Russian capital exhausting citizens and visitors alike, meteorologists insist that the anomalies will not last.

Temperatures in Moscow have really soared with forecasters saying they could hit 32 degrees Celsius this weekend.

The weathermen, however, insist that two or three heat waves are typical for a Russian summer, so the current period of heat will soon expire, giving way to lower temperatures that will last till mid-July.

They also point out that last year’s temperatures exceeded the average ones by 12-14 degrees, whereas this year they are only 4-5 degrees hotter than usual.

“We are now under the Scandinavian cyclone, which is quite unstable comparing to the Asian anti-cyclone that covered Russia last year and dissolved only after more than two months,” Vadim Zavodchenkov, weather specialist from the Fobos center, told news site.

The weathermen also stress that it is very hot in Europe too: this week, it was about 32 degrees C in the UK, 35 degrees C in France and Belgium, and an intense 40 degrees C in Spain and Portugal.

Still, this goes against what meteorologists promised back in spring, when they said there would be no heatwave like that of last year.

In addition, meteorologists themselves are not taking any chances. The weathermen have ordered 30 air conditioners for their offices, in total worth more than $50,000.

Greenpeace, meanwhile, is warning people that the capital could be affected by smog in July

“We have enough fires in Russia to get Moscow covered in smoke,” Aleksey Yaroshenko, head of Greenpeace Russia, told Interfax. “It all depends on the weather. If we have warm windy weather for two weeks in a row, there will be lots of smoke.”

Moscow’s public services, meanwhile, are working day and night trying to ease the burden.

“Last year, we began humidifying the air in Moscow,” Marina Orlova, spokesperson for housing and communal services, told RT. “We use sprinklers to introduce water particles into the air. We humidify both the air to get rid of the dust and dangerous micro-organisms, and the asphalt to stop it from melting. We are continuing the practice this year.”

In trying to fight the heat, Moscow has gone so far as opening a city beach in the heart of the capital. The riverbank in Gorky Park is already decorated for the cause: they have a range of beautiful pots with olive trees bought in Italy.