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Anomalies of Summer-2018

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“92 days of summer”. Well, this song is not about St. Petersburg – with its rains and grey sky and two-three warm weeks. But this summer proved to be different. Same umbrellas – but tourists were not hiding from raindrops, but direct sunlight.

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When professor of Polytechnic University Viktor Elistratov installed sun batteries, neighbors must have thought it was a waste of time. For years on, he has managed to save 2000 kw/h during this summer alone. In monetary terms, this is more than 7 thousand rubles. But this year was unusual, he says.

Prof. Viktor Elistratov, director of SPbPU scientific-educational center: “Research data has shown that we’re having more and more sunny days each year – and more solar energy. I’ve been researching this system for a few years now. This year, the output increased by 40-50 percent – which means that a certain anomaly is happening in nature”

Tomatoes in a Toksovo greenhouse became ripe a month ahead of schedule. And St. Petersburg reminded of a massive vegetable garden – even without greenhouses.

Maxim Oblender, reporter: “The center of a big city with the population of five million, Moyka embankment. Ships are sailing by – and grass has grown on a sidewalk. Pumpkin, seeds of which need to be preserved in ash before planting. Pumpkin, which can only be watered with warm mater, having loosened the soil. But this anomalous summer is giving its own advice – just throw out seeds anywhere and let me handle the rest”.

Do you remember a lone tomato which grew at Fontanka embankment a few years back – having overcome granite? Now, let’s count – a pumpkin at Moyka and Griboedov Canal, corn, horse radish at Karpovka embankment and, last but not least, sweet and ripe black grapes. Backyard at Transportnyi lane kept the warmth – just like a greenhouse. Climatologists, however, say that there’s no anomaly.

Alla Yurova, researcher at faculty of climatology and environment monitoring at Soil Sciences Institute: “According to meteorological service and our data, the summer does not represent an anomaly. We haven’t registered an extreme anomaly. It is warmer, on average. The heat wave lasted for 23 days, but there had been cases with 26 and even 30 days”.

But have you ever seen anything like that? Primorskoye highway attacked by butterflies.

Or silver clouds above the city – a very rare natural phenomenon.

Such atypical heat in the north city also proved to be a major test for the main utility services. A flooding at the embankment – and it almost feels like the Aurora would de-anchor at any moment and sail out into open sea. Not an anomaly, you’re saying?

Maxim Oblender, reporter: “I’m holding the “Birds of St. Petersburg” encyclopedia. Listing 240 very different species. But it does not list mute swan or, for instance, the big fan of tropical climate – white crane, which was recently seen here, by the Kronschtadtskaya Dam. And the list goes on”

Vladimir Khrabryi, chairman of ornithology society of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region: “Yes, it is a peculiar case. This stems from global warming. This species’ habitat is usually much more to the south from here. This is August, so both mature and young species are looking for new habitats. Maybe they will like it here and they would come back”.

But it’s too early to celebrate for the ornithologists. While some birds came to enjoy the heat in the city, others started dying out in masses. Dead ducks have been found in three different water arteries. Experts say that blossoming of blue-green algae and food poisonings are to blame. And those happen due to, again, anomalous summer.

And who knows how many more unexpected things these 92 days of summer could’ve brought us. Here are shots from a week ago – two twisters at the same time above the Gulf.

Pictures of large-sized hail in Kurortnyi area emerged on the social media. The summer is nearing its end. And maybe in a few decades we will be living in a city where grapes growing in our backyards becomes a norm, just as sun batteries on every rooftop. And what we regard as anomaly today, would be an everyday thing for St. Petersburg’s life.

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