03 May 2016 (Siberian Times) – On 1 May 2016, the "Ob Sea” [Novosibirsk Reservoir], close to Novosibirsk, was completely clear of ice.
Go back even a few years and locals expected to see an ice cover on this vast manmade reservoir on the 3,650 kilometre Ob River at the start of May. Yet pictures taken on Sunday show it to be completely clear.
Compare these with images taken in several years between 2010 and 2015 when ice was plainly visible.
One local researcher - who drew this to our attention - said: “It is my own observation. I often go to the Ob Sea in early May and previously there was always ice there, at least ice floats, even when the spring was early. This time it is completely free of ice.
“I'm not saying my observations are scientific, yet the impression is rather striking.”
It's not the only sign of changing climatic times. The flowers pictured here - Pulmonaria (lungwort) and forest violets - are blooming at least a week earlier expected than in Novosibirsk region. All this comes after March 2016 was revealed as the warmest in recorded history.
The statistics for April are still awaited.
The Russian Hydrometeorological Center says that since May 2015 every month has been the warmest in history. February boasted the highest abnormal temperature deviation - more than 1.5C degrees. In March, the temperature deviation in on islands in the Barents Sea was 12C.
In most of the country, the temperature rose between 3 and 5 degrees. [more]