The winter of 2015 was difficult in the Boston area. It snowed two feet every few days in February. My little dog didn’t have the clearance to make it down the stairs, so I learned the fine New England art of shoveling pee trails. I felt trapped, sore, and cranky.
Around that time, I became fascinated with Norilsk. Photographer Elena Chernyshova took gorgeous photos of the cold polluted Siberian city. Normally I like to read about the Arctic and Antarctic during the summer for its psychosomatic cooling effects, but this was not a normal winter.
I added Norilsk to phone’s report of weather in various cities. It might be warmer in Charlottesville (my hometown) or New Orleans (a favored destination), but it was always colder in Norilsk. But not today.
Today it is 81 degrees, the same temperature in Norilsk that it is in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is 15 degrees warmer than it is in coastal Massachusetts. July is the warmest month in Norilsk, but this is still record breaking. July averages in Siberia range between 40 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Europe is undergoing a heat wave. Last year a Siberian heat wave woke up some anthrax viruses, which had been dormant since the 40s. Forecasters say it may hit 95 degrees above the Arctic Circle.
This is the climate, changing.