It looks like Ukraine, having gained political independence, has also acquired, in addition, a climatic independence. At least, according to specialists, Siberian frosts are not looming in the nearest future. The climate on the Ukrainian territory has changes compared to early- and mid-20th century. The Ukrainian Meteorology Institute says temperatures on the most of the republic’s territory have risen by 3-5 degrees compared to many-years’ indices. A blanket of snow has become a rare occurrence while New Year’s fogs and rains have become a norm. Those climatic changes have led to unfavourable events, such as floods in Transcarpathian region in 1998 and 2001 claiming a number of lives and causing tangible damages. Given such circumstances, the Ukrainian meteorologists are sending SOS – not just because of the climatic changes, but because of the Ukrainian bureaucracy whose indifference and incompetence (which is a mild term) is becoming more and more a kind of natural disaster for the country. The Ukrainian meteorologists have found that the recent floods are mainly caused by groundwater level rise because the ground fails to freeze through in winter, and precipitation does not stay on the surface. Another major cause is deforestation. Unfortunately, findings and recommendation provided by Ukrainian meteorologists falls on the deaf ear remaining out of reach for many Ukrainian officials. The authorities have recently announced that they intend to apply for help to Western meteorologists in order to solve the problem of floods.
ANDREI LUBENSKI PRAVDA.RU KYIV
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