NOVOSIBIRSK, January 17 (RIA Novosti) – Siberia is famous for its long winters and massive snowfalls – but now global warming could mean even more snow for the northern hemisphere and Siberian region, a Russian geographer warned on Thursday.
“The paradox arises – during warming, which we are seeing now now, the earth will get more snow. This is happening in large areas of Siberia where there is more snow than a decade or two ago,” said Russian Academy of Science Geography Institute director Vladimir Kotlyakov.
The increase in snowfall in the northern hemisphere was first noted in the 1960s when satellite observation was first introduced, he said.
“We are now in an era of global warming, and the rising air temperature leads to increased humidity, so the snowfall increases in cold areas,” he explained.
In December 2012 the area of snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at its highest for 130 years at almost 3 million square kilometers, or over 200,000 km above the previous record in 1985, according to the United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). On average, American weather experts say, the area of snow cover in the northern hemisphere in winter is rising at a rate of 0.1 percent per decade.