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Recurring snowfalls in Sahara Desert verify global warming, says top Russian meteorologist

January 09, 2018, 14:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On January 7, snow blanketed the Sahara Desert north of Algeria’s city of Ain Sefra

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White desert in Egypt

White desert in Egypt

© AP Photo/Manoocher Deghati

MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Increasingly frequent snowfalls in the Sahara Deseret are evidence of the much talked about global warming trend, just like the unusually warm winters in Russia, bitter cold spells in the US and floods in Europe, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Roman Vilfand told TASS.

On January 7, snow blanketed the Sahara Desert north of Algeria’s city of Ain Sefra. The snow cover was about 40cm deep but melted by night. A year earlier, in December 2016, snow fell in the region for the first time since 1979.

"Such situations, including snowfalls in Sahara, a long cold spell in North America, very warm weather in the European part of Russia and sustained rains which sparked flooding in Western European countries, have been occurring more frequently. The high recurrence of these extreme (weather) conditions stems from global warming. It is not just my standpoint, but an opinion shared by members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," Vilfand said.

He pointed out that out of the ordinary snowfalls had also happened in Egypt and the Middle East, though they were usually recorded once in 15 to 20 years.

Vilfand emphasized that researchers always focused on the recurrence of such phenomena and not their unusualness. "The scope of (these) weather events has been growing, yet an isolated incident would not prove anything. In that case, you could say, well that’s what just an anomaly," he noted.

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