Everyone knows that the Earth's natural environment depends on the state of its atmosphere. Its basic regulator is the solar energy and diverse surfaces of our planet itself (oceans, mountains, rivers, valleys, etc.). We should also have in mind processes taking place in the depths of the Earth. Thus, the atmosphere is polluted by volcanic eruptions: the most significant ones decrease transparency of the lower stratosphere, which results in bringing down the volume of the direct solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface. The same is true of emissions of smoke aerosol in the course of large-scale forest fires.
Some researchers believe that there are special areas on the planet, where preconditions for occurrence of climatic anomalies are more likely than anywhere else, including the territories bordering our Far Eastern region. Western Mongolia is one of them (here originate cyclones, bringing moisture to the Amur region), a place characterized by a unique combination of two lithospheric platforms-Siberian and Chinese. Their movements form fractures in the crust, through which heat can reach its upper layers, distributing unevenly. Abundant humidity of relevant layers also contributes to their deformation, influences thermal conditions, for example, in Pribaikalye and Priamurye.
Scientists of the RF Hydrometeorological Center revealed: oceans and seas, possessing high heat capacity, also influence the climate. For example, the temperature of the surface of the northern part of the Pacific Ocean in autumn sets the time of the appearance of ice on the Amur River, influences fire hazardous situation in the Far Eastern forests.
As pointed out by Galina Sokolova, Cand. Sc. (Geog.) (Institute of Water and Ecological Problems of the RAS
Far Eastern Branch, Khabarovsk), the low atmosphere pressure area, the so-called Aleutian depression, which is formed in the region of the Aleutian islands, affects in the same way the weather of this territory. In January-February 2006, it was extremely high, which allowed to forecast a heightened danger of fire storms in the forests of the central and southern regions of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region.
On the basis of the study of the state of the environment in the territory of Priamurye for long periods of time, it is observed: periods of intensive monsoon rains alternate with long summer droughts. The point is that the basic moisture on the Asian east cost is brought here by air masses from the Pacific Ocean. At the place where they meet cool continental air masses it rains hard, high floods are formed on water arteries and forests "are resting" from fires. But if they meet over the territory of China, for example, fires become intense and the Yangtze river, the main river on the south of China, overflows.
Regularities of the habits of air masses are extremely complex. They are continuously studied by specialists from different countries. Thus, scientists of the RF Hydrometeorological Center obtained satisfactory results of timely (up to 5 - 10 days) automated analysis of the basic weather characteristics (temperature, precipitation, etc.) for the whole territory of Russia, including the Far East. Scientists of the Institute of Water and Ecological Problems and the Institute of Complex Analysis of Regional Problems (Birobidzhan) are planning to use this methodology to make the forecast of forest fire threat with the same accuracy.
Global warming is one more factor influencing the environment of the region under consideration. In recent years the number of forest fires in the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region is steadily increasing. Floods on the Amur River were quite often in the 1950s. It is worth mentioning that the last heavy flood of 1998 was caused by unusual reasons. Intensive forest fires in the summer period preconditioned a long-lasting smoke anticyclone over the said territory, and western cyclones bypassed it from the south, causing intensive precipitation and floods there. It has never happened henceforth, rivers were calm and forests suffered from fires.
Galina SOKOLOVA, "On the Far Eastern Monsoons as an Antipode of Forest Fires", Far Eastern Scientist, June 12, 2006
Prepared by Olga BAZANOVA
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